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LIVE! All-Star Friday in Montreal ... Talking Suspensions

Crosby1 MONTREAL -- Sid the Kid is here, but a few others are missing.

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.

Comments

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I have to disagree with you on this one. Yes these players bend over backwards for the media and their teams normally BUT this is the All Star Game. As a kid i would watch this game in amazement of the skill on the ice, besides the Stanley Cup Playoffs this was the highlight of the season. As kids we would mimick the all star competition, playing sharpshooter, picking the All Stars that we would pretend to be during a game of shinny. When a player decides not to show up for any apparant reason this looks bad to kids growing up with the game. It looks especially bad considering the amount of money these All Stars are making.

If a player is injured then obviously he doesn't have to play and if there is a significant family reason I am sure that is also an exception but if you played the previous game even if you were not 100% you can play a game of All Star shinny in Montreal.

Besides the fact that it was written in the CBA, the All Star game is something that is put on and supported by the league to help grow it and as far as I am concerned these players are playing for the NHL as well as their team.

There is a similar situation happening in Canada with the World Baseball Classic where Ryan Dempster isn't playing for Canada for the second consecutive event not because of injury but because he just signed a major contract in the offseason. It is not that it is disrespectful to your country, although many people do beleive it is, primarily it is disrespectful to the league. MLB is putting on this event for the fans and it ruins the integrity of the event when players look at it as an afterthought.

Just my opinion though. And I can totally respect yours GR, you are a dedicated Sportswriter to the panthers and fans are lucky to have your opinions.

good post, and I get what you mean. I have always enjoyed watching the baseball all-star game and most of the guys picked for that go...I think money has something to do with that...I know the NHL wants its guys here, but suspend them for a game that actually counts? I think that's too much...

I think they NHL has every right to do this. It is part of their job, plain and simple. They make millions of dollars, if you can't play take a free flight, stay at the Fairmont and sign some sutographs for petes sake. Unless it is a family issue, they are obligated.

If a player is too injured to just go to Montreal and sign some autographs, I'm sure they won't mind not playing another game. It's very clearly stated in their SPC that they are required to make appearances in league sanctioned events such as the All-Star game. It is completely within the NHL's right to suspend them for one game. They could have avoided it if they had gone to Montreal and not even played. They also could have missed either the last game before the All-Star game or the first after the break due to injury. They are being forced to miss the first after, which is what the CBA/individual SPCs say is the rule. Crosby is in Montreal and is therefore exempt from a one game suspension.

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