Ovechkin to Skip All-Star Game: So What? | Draft Day Suit

Ovechkin to Skip All-Star Game: So What?

Alexander Ovechkin laid a medium-grade hit on Zbynek Michalek during a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins this week. The NHL suspended him for two games, in a timeframe which includes Saturday’s All-Star Game.

After the suspension, Ovi said, nope, not gonna play. No All-Star Game for me.

People are calling him a jerk and a poor sport, and far worse names, as sports commenters will.

Sorry, in the sense that I’m totally not sorry. I happen to think he’s absolutely right.

Yes, I am a lifelong Washington Capitals fan. I am not, however, a blinded Ovechkin supporter. I think his play has been lax for the hype and salary he commands, and I’m not always thrilled with his attitude. I also loved Bruce Boudreau for absolutely no reason other than that he is Bruce Boudreau, emeffers. I think his dismissal from the team was probably due in some way to Ovi’s star power, and I think it was stupid.

But I’ve watched the Michalek hit multiple times, and I don’t think it was suspension worthy.

(I have no data to confirm any of the above hit or coach-firing analysis. I could be completely wrong, but I am not in my own mind. And if you think I am, I don’t care. What do I look like, a hockey scientist? I’m just your average irrational fan.)

My Ovi-cynicism aside, it’s just clear after the past few years that he is a big-name fall guy for enforcers in the NHL. He is a fall guy for the same league that shills him endlessly as one of its superstars. This includes a mostly manufactured rivalry with Sidney Crosby, an admittedly outstanding hockey player who unfortunately can’t even play due to concussion symptoms that are 0bviously serious enough to keep him out of action for more than  a year now.

In Ovi’s interview when he discussed his decision not to play, I actually sort of believed him when he said that he was afraid this reaction to his physical play was going to follow him his whole career. He’s going to keep getting called out for the way he plays hockey — a way he plays hockey that makes him the big name, occasional magic goal player he is. Happy birthday, Gary Bettman, am I right?

So in this case, unlike many others? I say hey, Ovi, refuse to play. Check yourself, if the NHL’s going to. If Tim Tool Time Thomas can embarrass himself by refusing to visit with the president of the United States and people defend him for that? You skip the All-Star game, baby. Rest up. We need you more in the playoffs.



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About the author
Laurie won her first writing award at her Maryland Catholic elementary school - an envelope of two-dollar bills from football-crazy nuns - in the second grade for a poem about the Washington Redskins. She still does not understand downs, so this just proves that she will write just about anything for the promise of money and minor glory. Try her. Her other interests include the WNBA, Dayton basketball (Go Flyers!,) tailgating, Capitals first-period goals, three-pointers and beer. She dislikes any former Patrick Division team, (especially the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers) overtime any time and serial retirers. She will someday have Capitals season tickets, attend an NFL game, and understand downs. Other writing happens at LaurieWrites and BlogHer. She still lives in - and loves - Maryland.

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One Reply to Ovechkin to Skip All-Star Game: So What?

  1. VeggieTart says:

    I’m going to politely disagree with you on one point: Yes, Ovie’s hit was suspension worthy. He left his feet. Shit, he practically Air Jordaned. That’s charging no matter what. And while he may not have meant to, he did get a bit of Michalek’s head.

    Here is what bothers me about it:

    1) A few minutes later, Michalek hit headshotted Matt Hendricks into the boards, also a suspension-worthy hit. shit, he TARGETED Hendricks because he was mad about being crunched by Ovie. You suspend both or you don’t suspend either.

    2) Shanahan brought up Ovie’s past history. I do believe that one’ssuspension history is expunged after 18 months clean. Ovie’s last suspension was in March 2010, 22 months ago. Shanahan should *not* have taken that into consideration, given that Ovie has kept his nose clean for almost two years. So, yes, both he and Michalek deserved one game not the three Ovie got or the zero Michalek got.

    And I think all fans agree with his decision to skip the All Star Game. He’s suspended; shouldn’t that include the All-Star Game since it falls during that period? The league cannot suspend him and then ask him to bring his bad-boy self to Ottawa to suck up to people who hate him because he’s Alex fucking Ovechkin, the big bad Russian who plays for the big, bad Capitals. Fuck them. Had he been suspended ONE game, I would say he goes. But he fears he would be a distraction. Everyone would be yammering about his suspension. Let the other stars have their fun.

    And good luck to Dennis Wideman!

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