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Posted at 10:07 AM ET, 01/18/2011

Poll: Should All Star participation be mandatory?

By Katie Carrera

In recent NHL seasons that have included all-star games, the question of whether the league's elite players would be better served by having three to four days off rather than participating in the all-star weekend's festivities has been something of a hot-button topic.

Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green are slated to represent the Capitals in this year's All Star Game and weekend in Raleigh, N.C., where a new format of a fantasy draft will be used to select the two teams. Captains for the squads are expected to be announced Tuesday.

But would you, Capitals fans, rather see Ovechkin and Green take some time off rather than continue with the grind of the year and, in a worst case scenario, risk injury at the event?

When players elected to skip the most recent all star game in Montreal in 2009, if the reason for their absence was not a verified injury they were assessed a one-game suspension because the league wanted to increase participation.

In other all-star news, the Globe and Mail is reporting that Sidney Crosby may boycott the game even if he has fully recovered from a concussion sustained in early January as a protest to the NHL's inconsistent discipline on hits to the head.

By Katie Carrera  | January 18, 2011; 10:07 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, All-Star Game, Mike Green, Poll  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Andrew Gordon: 'Every day feels like a road day' as a call-up
Next: Eric Staal, Nicklas Lidstrom named NHL All-Star captains


I hope cry Baby stays away, then we will see if colin and gary have any balls. If they don't suspend him the same as was done to lindstrom then its all hog wash and colin and gray need to be shown the door.

Posted by: bqts | January 18, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Here is your cap next year. I am projecting most current players on there as that is the simplest way. Also I have the cap up $3M - it has gone up from like $39M in 2005 to $59M this year. That's 50% in five years, or about 7.2% compounded if I did the Rule of 72s correctly. A 7.2% increase would actually increase next year's cap not $3M but $4.3M.

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2021) 6.700
Semin (re-signs 2011-2016) 6.700
Laich (re-signs 2011-2015) 3.500
Fehr (impending RFA) 2.200
Chimera (impending UFA) 1.875
Bradley (re-signs 2011-2013) 1.100
Steckel (2010-2013) 1.100
Hendricks (re-signs 2011-2013) 1.000
Johansson (EL signed 2010) 0.900
Eakin (EL signed 2009) 0.740
King (impending UFA) 0.638
Beagle (impending RFA) 0.513
AGordon (impending RFA) 0.500
S/T 14 Forwards 37.004
Green (impending RFA) 5.250
Hannan (resigns 2011-2013) 3.750
Poti (2011-2013) 2.875
Schultz (2010-2014) 2.750
Erskine (2011-2013) 1.500
Alzner (resigns 2011 - impending RFA) 1.000
Carlson (impending RFA) 0.846
S/T 7 Defensemen 17.971
Varlamov (re-signs 2011-2013) 2.000
Neuvirth (2011-2013) 1.150
S/T 2 Goalies 3.150
Total 23 Players 58.125
Cap Space (projected) 62.400
Available 4.275

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 18, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

They should both stay home and remember how to play hockey properly.

Posted by: SovietSnipes | January 18, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Is Katie just reading my post?

BTW the captains were named Staal and Lidstrom. I thought they were going to announce 2 for each team?

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 18, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Man, just scratch the all star game...players need rest. The super skills competition is the best part enyway...not sure why people care about watching random players that never play together compete in no contact pond hockey?

Posted by: capscoach | January 18, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

And to think I dropped me, "In a related story, Eric Fehr also threatens to boycott the game" on the prior thread.

Anyway, with the cap, you can it isn't so bad. McPhee could say let Hannan go and upgrade to a $5M defenseman. Or he could decide Semin just gives us too many snipers and get a few hard-crashing, $4M power forwards. That's fine too. The following year, another cap increase gets split by Green (some) and Carlson (most).

I did not include Knuble coming back, but it would have to be at much less if he does.

Let us form a circle and pray for no more ridiculous extensions. On that one, those sipping from the plastic child's cup and those gulping from the goblet can I think agree.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 18, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

IMO, I think the results of Crosby doing all of this whining without actually whininng(by letting it go through leaks where he can later deny that he whined but imply that agreed with the point of the whining) will end up in him getting sort of the Gretzky treatment from the refs.

If people thought he got a lot of calls now, I expect him now to get a call whenever he is touched. Although I hate it and don't find the actions very respectable, I do have to credit Crosby's team(his agents and PR people) for coming up with a plan to have him be even more successful.

It sucks though, because the game should be called fairly and even, regardless of who the infraction(or lack of one) is against.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 18, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse


I hope GMGM does not sign Semin to the extension you proposed. IMO, that would be for too much money and for too long.

I think it will be interesting to see if Kuznetsov makes the team next year. I think he will. He did mention in an interview that he wanted to come over, but that would be to play for the Caps not Hershey. So the only way to get him over would be to put him on the Caps roster. My guess is that the Caps would like to take that risk because the benefits of having him over here next year with access to all the training facilities and Caps coaches, etc. would be advantageous to his career in the long term.

I also liked how Orlov said he definitely wants to come over and while his goal is to make the Caps next year, he would be more than happy to play in Hershey.

My guess is that Eakin starts in Hershey next year, but could make it up rather quickly if he succeeds in Hershey.

Obviously these projections are fluid with many different transactions possibly taking place between now and next season.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 18, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

If Ovi is playing through an injury, he should skip it.

Re: Crosby--too bad he didn't care about Marc Savard

Posted by: vafan3 | January 18, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Crosby's agent and team are angry..those are the breaks BUT this Globe and Mail article spits lots of things out that can't be proven and there will be no way to prove.

Like is Crosby really concerned about missing the ASG if he is concussed - isn't it a no brainer that he will miss it unless he starts playing right now?

I doubt they even got a statement out of Sid for this piece of garbage story. It looks more like a political piece to extoll that some think the league should have suspended those guys (Steckel & Hedman)...

No news here - people have different takes on what is a penalty and what is suspendable.

Crosby's agent should be protecting his client from insinuations that he would actually play a baby game of "declining to partake" because he is angry at the league.

Brendan Shanahan runs the All-Star Game...Colin Campbell runs discipline - its not even the same department!

This is one of a few times that it appears certain media are in the back pockets of sports agencys - not good guys...not very good!

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | January 18, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

No - the all star game shouldn't be mandatory...but PRACTICE should be! I hope you are reading this Boudreau and Ovechkin. The game itself is useless. The old skills competition was far more compelling (hardest shot, most accurate shot, fastest skater). The ASG has been vitiated by clownish gimmicks and fan voting. I stopped caring when the fans started electing the starters.

Posted by: dingram3 | January 18, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@ dingram3: People, while not myself, who have played hockey and know the rigors of practice and playing on the same day and the toll it takes on the body indicate that opting out of practice is reasonable. While you may not think of it and may not even know what a gym or a treadmill are, I imagine it does take a toll. If you have a problem with Ovechkin or anyone else who opts out of a practice, trying going to the practices and feel free to let them know. Otherwise, you're just a sad sack hiding behind his monitor typing up criticisms against the team. Not. Helpful. At. All.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 18, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Unless a player has a legitimate injury, then he should be required to play in the All Star Game, if selected. It shows disrespect to the fans for players to forgo it merely to get a few extra days of rest. The ASG is a fan-driven event and the NHL needs as much good PR as it can get from something like it. If enough players feel it is really a waste of time, then have the NHLPA negotiate to have it removed from the next CBA. The NHL would probably just shorten the season by those few days so the players wouldn't get a mid-season break anyway.

As for Crosby, perhaps his protest would be more genuine if he boycotted the remaining games Pittsburgh has against the Boston Bruins. Twice this year the Pengoons have knock Bruins center Marc Savard out of games with vicious questionable hits. The Matt Cooke hit on Savard last March caused Savard to sit out for several months over two seasons and was the final straw that finally pushed the NHL to modify its rules on hits to the head, even though it was initially ruled a "clean" hit.

This past Saturday, Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland checked Savard into the boards, where he hit his head and was knocked woozy. The hit was also considered "clean," just like the hits Crosby is now threatening to boycott over. I'm not sure he'll get much sympathy from fellow players, who deride his constant whining for special treatment from on-ice officials, and now the league.

Posted by: braunt | January 18, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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