Following his three game suspension for a questionable hit on Zybnek Michalek, Alex Ovechkin announced to the media yesterday that he would not be attending the All Star Game in Ottawa.
“My heart is not there. I [got] suspended, so why I have to go there?” Ovechkin said. “I love the game; it’s great event. I’d 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. If I suspended, I have to be suspended. That’s why I give up my roster [spot].” (via Puck Daddy)
In his place, the league is acknowledging the young gun and scoring machine James Neal. Penguins fans are quite excited that the Nealmobile will be pulling into Ottawa. Neal is tied for 2nd in the league with 27 goals (just one ahead of his teammate and fellow All Star Evgeni Malkin), and is in a three-way tie for 13th with 47 points. Congratulations, Nealer!
In addition to Neal’s, er, addition, Carl Hagelin has been added as a rookie replacement in the event one of the rookies is unable to fulfill his duties. As much as I would love to see Hagelin play, those crazy rookies need to behave themselves.
The question that still remains is what will happen to the spot that Jamie Benn claimed? With little more than 24 hours to go until the draft, one would think his replacement would be chosen. It appears that he may be attending the event after all. His appendectomy was close to two weeks ago and he was seen skating at the American Airlines Arena yesterday morning. If he does choose to go, I wish him luck, good health, and hopes that he gets his car.