Washington Capitals captain and star forward Alex Ovechkin was expected to be the elder statesman among the four captains at the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game. That was until today, the veteran forward announced that he will skip the All-Star Game to focus on recovery and getting ready for the rest of the regular calendar and the postseason, according to Mike Vogel of The Washington Post.
While some fans might understand the choice of the 33-year-old forward, he was still voted by fans as captain of the Metropolitan Division team for the All-Star Game at SAP Center in San Jose on Jan. 26... It was second straight season and third time in four seasons that Ovi was voted as captain for the Metropolitan Division.
As mentioned by NHL insiders Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, Ovechkin will therefore will have to sit out either the game immediately before or after the all-star break. But Ovechkin wants the time for some extra rest, particularly as the festivities run into the Capitals bye-week, and won't mind sitting out for an extra game.
"To be selected [to] the All-Star Game is a huge privilege," Ovechkin had said once he was named captain of the Metropolitan Division team. "It's always nice to be selected and represent Washington over there."
In the summer, Ovechkin and his wife Nastya welcomed their first child, a son they named Sergei, on Aug. 18. He might have realized that becoming a father, at the same time as becoming a Stanley Cup, has taken a toll on his body. Ovechkin wants to do everything he can to ensure winning back-to-back championships, and so a break might be much needed for the veteran player.
How do you feel about Ovechkin's decision?