And it's going to cost them.
Various reports have confirmed that the NHL is sticking to its guns and will sit Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk on Tuesday in Columbus because they skipped out on All-Star weekend.
The Penguins must have gotten word the league was serious as Sidney Crosby -- who won't play Sunday -- arrived in Montreal on Friday afternoon and met with the media. Crosby will take part in all off-ice activities.
My thought: Bush league.
This is an All-Star Game, an exhibition. If guys are beat up and don't want to come to Montreal (where it's freaking freezing) that's their right. Tell me it's the fans game all you want, but that's bunk. The NHL bends over backwards to appease fans, and trust me, this isn't the right stance. You think Detroit fans give a hoot their two veteran guys skipped out on the All-Star Game?
Well, a certain few do.
But I bet a lot more are ticked their guys have to sit out A REGULAR SEASON GAME because they wouldn't take part in what is basically a spring training baseball game. And Lidstrom? Are you kidding me? Let Vinny Lecavalier take it from here:
''This guy has been to the All-Star Game 11 or 12 times,'' Lecavalier said. ''He loves the game, wants to promote the game. I really think the guys that are here, the ones who were chosen, they want to come over. If guys cancel at the last minute, they must have injuries or something with their families.Like I said, it's an honor. It's an honor to be at the All-Star Game. I think every guy wants to come.''
I understand the league wants its players to participate in this kind of stuff. But to suspend two players for it sounds like they are going a little too far.
Of course, the league isn't calling it a suspension, and as of now, the two Wings won't lose any money over it. They just get another night off. An extended All-Star break if you will.
Good for them.