Despite having been named one of the four All-Star captains, Alex Ovechkin won’t be taking part in the festivities this year. According to team reporter Mike Vogel, the Washington Capitals forward has informed the NHL that given his team’s mandatory bye week falls right alongside the All-Star break, he’ll take the time to rest for the second half of the season. This would mean Ovechkin would need to miss either the game prior to the break, or face a one-game suspension afterwards for missing the event without a definite injury. The veteran forward explained his decision:
First of all, thanks for all the fans who voted for me. I know it’s a tough decision, obviously. I like to be part of all the events, but right now I think that time of the year and my age we decide to take a one-week break. It’s hard but it’s better for me, I think, at this point.
The league will announce Ovechkin’s replacement as captain of the Metropolitan Division along with the rest of the All-Star lineups tonight.