Reporting Sky Kerstein
Alex Ovechkin announced today that he will not attend the 2012 NHL All-Star Game this weekend in Ottawa, Canada. Ovechkin was suspended for three games yesterday by the NHL for his hit on Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek.
“Well my heart is not there, I’m suspended so why go there,” Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin said. “I feel I’m not deserving to be there right now, If I’m suspended, I have to be suspended, so that’s why I give up my all-star.”
Capitals General Manager George McPhee said he supports Ovechkin on his decision.
“He doesn’t feel, because he’s a suspended player, he doesn’t feel like he deserves to be there, so he’s not going to go,” McPhee said. “He doesn’t want to be a distraction to the event.”
Both Ovechkin and McPhee aren’t happy with the decision to suspend Ovechkin three games.
“I was disappointed,” Ovechkin said on his suspension. “My game is play physical, my game is play hard, I don’t think it was bad hit and dirty hit.”
“I was surprised and disappointed, I didn’t anticipate he would be suspended for three games,” McPhee said. “We presented our case to the league yesterday and I thought we did real well, but didn’t get the result we wanted.”
“I thought that when I saw the hit that there might be a fine or maybe one game [suspension],” McPhee added. “When it [the suspension] went to three [games] I was pretty disappointed.”
This would’ve been Ovechkin’s fifth consecutive All-Star game. Ovechkin leads the Caps with 20 goals and has 19 assists on the season and is scheduled to return from his suspension February 4th in Montreal.
Dennis Wideman will be the lone Capitals representative in the All-Star game.
Listen here to the full Alex Ovechkin and George McPhee press conferences from today. Also click here to listen to what Karl Alzner, Jeff Halpern & Matt Hendricks had to say as they react to life without Ovechkin and prepare for the Bruins tonight.
Alex Ovechkin Press Conference
George McPhee Press Conference