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Backstrom Statement About Missing YoungStars

The Caps just released this statement from Nicklas Backstrom, who moments ago announced he will not be playing in the YoungStars Game in Montreal on Saturday night.

"I am grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in the YoungStars Game last year," Backstrom said. "This year I felt like it made more sense for me to give someone else that opportunity and use this time to rest and prepare for the second half of the season with the Washington Capitals. I can assure Caps fans that I'm not injured and will be ready to go Tuesday in Boston ."

From the league's release:

There are also four sets of injury-related changes for the NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck that will be played on Jan. 24.
Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne will replace Columbus' Steve Mason on the rookie team that will face a team of second-year players. That team will also have Chicago forward Dave Bolland and St. Louis' David Perron in the lineup, replacing Boston's Milan Lucic and Washington's Nicklas Backstrom.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 21, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
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Next: Alzner, Helmer and Machesney Sent Down


Glad Backstrom's going to be able to get some rest.
mauree, haha, well said, indeed! I guess I'll be hitting the delete button.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 21, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Translation: "Dear Buttman: you can stick your 'YoungStars' game assignment where the sun don't shine. See you at the ASG next year, clown." - Nicky B.

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 21, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, good for Backstrom. Nice of him to do that.

Posted by: Murshawursha | January 21, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Good, B├Ąckis should be in the real All-Star game anyway, definately deserves it more than Modano and others. Great to see he snubbed them, not worth the travel time.

Posted by: musicburgler | January 21, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Translation: "Dear Buttman: you can stick your 'YoungStars' game assignment where the sun don't shine. See you at the ASG next year, clown." - Nicky B.


Posted by: ThatGuy2 | January 21, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

This also sets a standard for the future that players can decline a second Young Star appearance.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 21, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I like Nicki and I respect his decision but I feel that you are all blinded by partisanship. This is not right. There is shared revenues in the NHL and we are not the only one paying for his salary. Players should not have a choice in this.

Posted by: atybat | January 21, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Not that I have to convince any of you how badly Backstrom was slighted, but look at this. The 3 Calder finalists last year in order were Kane (of course won), Backstrom second in voting and Toews third in voting. This year both Kane (34th in the league in scoring) and Toews (54th in the league in scoring )are starting in the All-Star game. I realize they were voted in as starter, but I doubt many would say they don't belong there anyway, even if not starters. Backstrom (16th in the league in scoring) was given a consolation slot on the newly created sophmore squad in the youngstars game. Meanwhile, Kovalev (a distant 73rd in scoring) is voted into a starting slot. Just a shame folks.

I cannot remember where I heard the recommended format of future all-star games, but someone mentioned that the all-star selections be made (thus ONLY deserving players go, with each team having at least one rep) and THEN fans vote who they'd like to see as starters out of the all-stars. Sounds good to me because deserving players will be there. There will always be a few hung out to dry because each team needs to have one rep, but don't all hockey fans, even if their team stinks, want to see at least one player from their team in the game? That is easier to accept than seeing Kovalev in the line-up at all.

I'm just glad to see that Backstrom decided to make a stand and take a much needed break.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 21, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I have absolutely no problem with this. In fact I think its pretty awesome.

The Young Stars game is kind of a joke anyway. Rest up Nicky.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 21, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

My formula...

League takes 1 skater from each of the 15 teams in each conference.

The starting goalies from the top 3 teams in each conference go

And to hit the 18 skater number you take 1 extra guy from the top 3 in each conference.

Fans vote for starters

yes many will not be chosen but there will be the understanding that if your team is not in the top 3, only 1 guy is going.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 21, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This is no big deal. I am glad he is doing what he is doing, though the Caps organization may not be as happy. Remember, Broudeur declined the starting goalie last year and sat out of the ASG for the same reasons. I think he started something which may start to be a familiar thing in future. Players for teams that are in the hunt for the playoffs will start doing this to try and rest themselves as much as possible.

In the end, it is marketing for the Caps and the more faces there, the more business/tickets they may sell. So, there may be pressure from the organization to go, especially if it is the main game. The Young Star Game is pretty minor in comparison.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | January 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The ASG is a popularity contest, not a Merit or talent one. We are proud Caps fans and supporters but the Caps have not achieved any level of overall fan recognition or noriety, yet although it will hopefully come.
In that regard, Backie was not slighted and he should have gone to wherever the NHL tells him to go. He decided not too and has been poorly counseled but that his his decision at this point.

Posted by: atybat | January 21, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse


I just got on-line to see how the Caps did last night and WHERE IS STORY ON THE SPORTS PAGE??? Pathetic.

Posted by: charley42 | January 21, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I applaud Backstrom and his decision. If I were Ovechkin, I would do the very same thing.

Because someone tells you to jump up and down and act like a clown, doesn't mean you actually have to do it.


Posted by: rblatch45 | January 21, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

It's Backstrom's call. Ideally, he'd play and represent the Caps well, but given that he played in the game last year, his importance to the Caps and the magnitude of this season, I don't think it's too bid a deal. I think it would be good NHL policy to not have players be named for the Young Stars game more than once anyhow...there are certainly enough good young players to fill the rosters.

It's wayyyy different with Alex. The young stars game certainly doesn't depend on backstrom's participation, but the success and grandeur of the all-star game rightfully depends on #8's participation, whether or not fans league-wide are aware of this ahead of time or not.

I'm sure Alex realizes that while the silly voting mechanisms prevented him from starting, the NHL & league-wide GM's obviously want him playing. Plus, all we ever hear about is how much fans at opposing venues anticipate his arrival...particularly in Canadian venues. It's win-win-win-win for Alex-the NHL-the Caps-fans for Alex to be in the game.

Posted by: pachanga74 | January 21, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

No Caps fan should be upset with any of the obvious slights for All Star recognition.

Not having Green, Semin, or Backstrom in the game is GREAT NEWS. It lets our guys rest up and get ready for the 2nd of half of the season (Ovi doesn't need rest, he's the Energizer Bunny...on Red Bull).

With a gimpy Crosby and exhausted Malkin having to play, plus Chara (Mr. 30 min a night man) and Savard having to go and expend energy, plus basically the entire Habs squad, the Caps will be the most refreshed and well rested and focused top Eastern Conference team for the 2nd half.

Enjoy the sun, sand, and girls on the week off boys. Come back strong. Go Caps.

Posted by: DaleDUI | January 21, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

How would you all feel if Ovechkin snubbed the ASG in protest of the All-Star voting procedures?

Posted by: dukestreetkid | January 21, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Backstrom's integrity is questioned when we assume he's doing it to slight the NHL for being nominated/voted to the Young Stars team. I accept and applaud him for opting out to let someone else who hasn't had the chance to play, to suit up for this prestigious game. Even if it is the Young Stars. And, as a greedy Caps fan, I'm stoked he's resting up (for a little bit) with the rest of the team before they continue their race to the Stanley Cup playoffs. See you guys at the game against the Kings and the Panthers! Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 21, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Here! Here! Backstrom. The YoungStars isn't worth your time.

Posted by: ejohnsto | January 21, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"How would you all feel if Ovechkin snubbed the ASG in protest of the All-Star voting procedures?"

Honestly? I'd laugh hysterically.

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | January 21, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Asking Backstrom to play in the YoungStars game is kind of like asking him to sit at the kids table for Thanksgiving dinner.

It is abit insulting considering what he has achieved this season compared to other ASG players.

He did the right thing and did it with grace.

Posted by: auntbea2 | January 22, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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