ANALYSIS | Alex Ovechkin’s decision to withdraw from the NHL All-Star Game following his three-game suspension makes sense to this beat writer, but some believe the star left wing should have handled the situation differently.
St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonald, who is out with a concussion, believes Ovechkin should have still gone to the event. On Twitter, McDonald called it a “classless move by @ovi8 ‘opting’ out of the NHL Allstar Game.”
Post columnist Tracee Hamilton wrote this morning that Ovechkin is acting like a “petulant child” by refusing to attend the All-Star Game. You can read her column here.
Given the way the situation has played out, though, his decision not to partake in the All-Star weekend in Ottawa is logical enough.
On Tuesday, Ovechkin explained that he would rather not have his suspension overshadow the events of the weekend and that he was not “deserving” to be there. League officials have said they will not make him attend, so he can choose not to go.
One might guess if Ovechkin’s suspension resulted from a more egregious act (think Marty McSorley) it’s likely he wouldn’t have been afforded the choice whether to go, and it’s possible the public would demand he not attend.
Yes, he’s one of a few marquee players in the league, but there’s no doubt his suspension would have been a dominant focus of the weekend rather than the event itself. Perhaps suspended players simply shouldn't be allowed to attend, regardless of the offense.
From the Capitals’ perspective as a team, Ovechkin taking the opportunity to get away from the grind of the season rather than take part in the exhibition gives him a chance to rest and regroup. He isn’t allowed to play in a three-game stretch that spans the break, so why play during the break itself?
“I not deserve it right now,” Ovechkin said Tuesday. “I get suspended until February 4, so I’m not going to play until that time.”
What’s your take? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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