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Campbell: Backstrom Won't Be Disciplined

In light of this afternoon's breaking news that Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom will be asked to sit out a game next week as punishment for skipping this weekend's festivities, I thought it would be a good idea to get the NHL's thoughts on Nicklas Backstrom's decision to skip Saturday's YoungStars game and "rest" instead.

NHL dean of discipline Colin Campbell just told me that the second-year center will not face a one-game ban like Datsyuk and Lidstrom.

"There's no hard and fast rule about [the Youngstars game]," Campbell said. "You can't really nail those guys. It's not even a real game. They're just coming for the one day to play an 18-minute game. It's not the All-Star Game; it's not the [main] thing people come to see."

I'm going to have a story about the ASG absences, other players' thoughts on skipping the event, and the game's future in Sunday's paper.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 23, 2009; 3:51 PM ET
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I hate to say it, but given that the best player in the league isn't starting and several deserving teamates got passed over, I actually think it would be a good response for OV to skip the game. It won't happen, but you know, if the people of Montreal can't actually identify the best player in the league, then they shouldn't get to watch him...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 23, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I dont understand why everyone gets so riled up about this.

It is all for the MONEY...Same thing in the NBA, MLB and NFL.

Sponsors love the All-Star game and parties that surround it. NHL Players make a ton of money, and should go and promote the game...If your injured and need treatment though...that is something else.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 23, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey - Preach it! I agree with you completely on that count, but I don't like the idea that the league would make him sit down for a *real* game next week if he sat out the All Star game. That's Bullcrap.

Posted by: irockthered | January 23, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

the NHL all-star game simply sucks. i think the winter classic is a much better NHL marketing tool for obvious reasons. anyone who actually tunes in to the NHL all-star game sees an NHL product moving at 10% speed with no hitting. that's awful and frankly counterproductive.

MLB all-star is the only game that works because everyone is essentially still playing competitive baseball because it's a low-contact sport that you can play hard even in exhibition style. Do you know of anyone who watches the Pro Bowl? And the NBA is such a joke at this point that each regular season game is played like an all-star game (but with watered down talent).

I say keep the all-star team designations but scrap the actual game, especially if players are going to do what they're doing this year. Sid the face of the NHL? What a sham.

Posted by: MTB7 | January 23, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

As a side note: Ovechkin himself spells his nickname "Ovi", at least on Twitter (Ovi8) and on his website.

I suggest we all do the same on here. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 23, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered...previous post

in your opinion schultz's doesn't suck, in mine he does. maybe he will develope, but do it in hershey. as for not knowing a 22 year old who isn't perfect....i know a 21 year old that is pretty close nick backs and Ovi is 23, semin 24. I don't buy the 22 year old agrument

Posted by: _stevo | January 23, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@ _stevo

Defense is a much more difficult position to play at the NHL level than the positions of your said examples, especially for a 22 year old.

Posted by: DaleHunter | January 23, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of all-star games, either. Of all the major pro sports, the only ASG that doesn't suck is baseball's. Football and hockey without hitting are jokes, and you get no hitting in hockey's ASG and very little in football's. Also, with little defense in either the football, hockey or basketball ASGs, its basically unimpeded offense, which I find boring.

Posted by: rbpalmer | January 23, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The All-Star game is a joke, and the league should be ashamed of itself for punishing players who choose not to participate in the charade.

Posted by: bucknelldad | January 23, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I love how even he downplayed the Young Stars game by saying it's "not even a real game". So true.

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | January 23, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

That's really lame. Since when did the NHL turn into the military? "You can give your heart to Jesus, but your a$$ belongs to the NHL"

Posted by: ejohnsto | January 23, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, are you aware of Darren Dreger's comments on TSN citing the Capitals telling NHL Hockey Operations last year (2008 All Star Game) not to invite Mike Green because they would not release him as a factor for the game. Its at about 3:30 of a clip entitled "Courting Controversy" on the TSN website.

I disagree with the policy of preventing players having minor injuries be punished because it punishes not simply the player, and his team but the fans at the next game. For example, say in the Ottawa game, Ovie had a minor injury that a few days rest would take care of. The next game is in Boston and if I am a Boston fan who was anticipating seeing the Capitals play in part because I wanted to see Ovechkin, well then I am punished as well.

Posted by: rbluesw | January 23, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

To weigh in on the ASG, we are justified in being upset with how it turned out. How we only got one player in and even then, Ovi isn't starting. But for each one of us, there's like 4 or 5 hockey fans who got the players they wanted into the game. It blows for us Caps fans but eh. I'll relish the fact that our players get the rest they need and will hopefully get their heads back on the game so we could remind Boston we're breathing on their necks for the #1 spot in the Eastern Conference. Rock the Red, folks!!!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 23, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Enh. I'm looking forward to the skills competition - Ovi twittered something about getting new sticks for the competition tonight. Over/under on how many don't make it through the night, starting at 2.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 24, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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