Jan 24, 2012, 12:28 PM EST
Capitals GM George McPhee spoke after the team’s practice this morning to say that Ovechkin will not participate in this year’s All-Star Game in Ottawa saying he doesn’t want Ovechkin to be a distraction.
“His heart’s not in it,” McPhee tells Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times.
McPhee also said that Ovechkin approached him saying that he was a suspended player and that he does not deserve to be at the All-Star Game. Ovechkin’s reasons for stepping aside from the game seem noble, but it’s an easy situation to be skeptical about.
As for Ovechkin himself, this is what he had to say: “My heart is not there. I got suspended, so why I have to go there?”
With Ovechkin out of the game, that opens up another roster spot for someone else deserving to go. The leading candidate to replace Ovechkin now that Scott Hartnell has been added to the game would be Penguins forward James Neal. Neal is near the top of the NHL leaderboard in goals with 26, the same number his All-Star teammate Evgeni Malkin has.
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