Jan 25, 2012, 3:47 PM EDT
Three years after Nicklas Lidstrom was suspended for bailing on the NHL All-Star Game, Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock praised the league for letting his captain pass on this year’s festivities.
“At 41 years of age and with seven Norris trophies and going to the all-star game every year, I think if [Lidstrom] needs four days off, the National Hockey League respects that,” Babcock told the Canadian Press. “There was no fooling around. It was done up front. He deserves the time off.”
In 2009, Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk were suspended one game after not attending the All-Star Game in Montreal. Their decisions broke a policy stating injured All-Stars must have missed at least the last game before the All-Star break in order to be excused; otherwise, they must sit out the first regular-season game after the break.
That said, the veterans really should’ve been locks for the ASG — Lidstrom is ninth in defenseman scoring and fourth in plus-minus while Selanne leads the Ducks in scoring (45 points in 48 games), 18th overall in the NHL.
In related news, Wings GM Ken Holland said Lidstrom is a game-time decision for tonight’s affair against Montreal. The veteran defenseman is dealing with the flu.
- Comeback fit for a King: Lundqvist, Rangers even series in Game 4 12
- WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Lightning, Game 4 of Eastern Conference Final 6
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL 38
- All eyes on Lundqvist 10
- Quenneville opted for ‘fresh legs’ by inserting Nordstrom, Versteeg into lineup 12
- Video: Ducks hold off Blackhawks in Game 3 to take series lead 30
- (Video) PHT Extra: On Babcock, sticking to the process and housebuilding analogies 3
- Babcock predicts ‘pain’ for Leafs, who are a ‘massive, massive challenge’ 39
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ 48
- Flyers won’t trade Del Zotto, but ‘something will have to give’ on crowded blue line 26
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (172)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (91)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)