August 27, 2014

Ovechkin bows out of All-Star game: “My heart is not there.”

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, suspended for the next three games for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zybnek Michalek, will not attend the NHL All-Star Game this weekend.  Ovechkin, speaking with the media at Kettler Capitals Iceplex after the morning skate before taking on the Boston Bruins this evening, said, “My heart is not there. I got suspended, so why I have to go there?”

“I love the [All-Star] game, it’s a great event. I love to be there but I’m suspended. I don’t want to be a target. I feel I’m not deserving to be there right now. I got suspended, I have to be suspended so that’s why I give up my roster [spot].”

General Manager George McPhee spoke after Ovechkin, and reiterated the team’s disappointment in the three-game suspension.

Ovechkin reflected on the suspension, and being viewed as a “repeat offender” in the eyes of the league.  “Most bad thing is it’s going to be all my career it’s going to be like that.  My game is play physical, my game is play hard and I don’t think it was bad hit, dirty hit. Yeah I jumped but [Michalek] don’t get hurt. I don’t get two minutes. I don’t think it was three-game suspension.”

Ovechkin’s teammates this morning joined in that view, as well as expressing surprise that Michalek himself wasn’t disciplined for his hit moments later on Matt Hendricks, which appeared to be a blatant, intentional elbow to Hendricks’ head.  Michalek received a two-minute penalty, but avoided any supplementary discipline.

***Quotes for this post were taken from pubished sources.

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Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Capitals coverage on Twitter @CapitalsDSP.

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