Alex Ovechkin Suspended Three Games For Hit On Zbynek Michalek, Will Not Attend All-Star Game

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin will miss three games after being suspended by the NHL Monday for his hit on Pittsburgh's Zbynek Michalek Sunday. He decided Tuesday to withdraw from this weekend's All-Star Game.

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Alex Ovechkin Can Skip 2012 All-Star Game Because League No Longer Needs Him There

Those that are outraged over Alex Ovechkin's decision to skip the 2012 NHL All-Star Game are forgetting that Ovechkin isn't the icon he used to be. That's the saddest part of all in this saga.

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Chain Reactions: Flip Saunders Wins Lottery, Alex Ovechkin In Penalty Box And No Prince Fielder In D.C.

The Wizards trying to Flip the season around, the Capitals' star is taking his stick and going home instead of to the All-Star game and the Nationals swing and miss on a Prince.

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Alex Ovechkin, George McPhee 'Disappointed' In Suspension, Will Not Attend All-Star Game

BALLSTON, Va. - Less than 24 hours after the league suspended Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin for three games, Ovechkin and General Manager George McPhee said that they were "disappointed" with the NHL's decision and announced that the former will not attend the All-Star Game this weekend.

"My heart is not there," Ovechkin said in regards to the All-Star Game. "I got suspended, so why I have to go there? I love the game. [The All-Star Game] is a great event. I love to be there, but I'm suspended. I don't want to be a target. I feel I'm not deserving to be there right now. I got suspended. I have to be suspended so that's why I give up my roster [spot]."

What seemed to bother Ovechkin about the league's decision was that it will follow him for the rest of his career after he believed that his hit on Zbynek Michalek Sunday was not a dirty one.

"I was disappointed, actually," Ovechkin said. "I don't think it was a bad hit or dirty hit. Yeah, I jumped, but [Michalek] don't get hurt, I don't get two minutes. I don't think it was a three-game suspension."

McPhee echoed Ovechkin's sentiments about both issues.

"I was surprised and disappointed," McPhee said in regards to the three-game ruling. "I didn't anticipate he'd be suspended for three games. We presented our case to the league yesterday and I thought we did real well, but didn't get the result we wanted."

McPhee said he thought the hit might warrant a fine or a one-game suspension, but when it went to three, he "was pretty disappointed."

"Because he's a suspended player, he doesn't feel like he deserves to be there, so he's not going to go," McPhee said about Ovechkin's decision not to attend the All-Star Game, which he supports. "He doesn't want to be a distraction to the event."

Ovechkin will now sit out the next three games and cannot return until February 4, but he knows what he plans to do with his mandated time off.

"Right now, I'm going to support my teammates today," Ovechkin said as his teammates prepare for the Boston Bruins Tuesday. "After that, chilling, like I always do."

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Alex Ovechkin May Skip All-Star Game After Three-Game Suspension, According To Report

Alex Ovechkin has been suspended for three games by the NHL for his hit over the weekend, but that suspension will not preclude him from participating in the NHL All-Star game this weekend. But that suspension does seem to have rubbed him the wrong way and he is now thinking about skipping the festivities. According to Bob McKenzie of TSN via SB Nation, he likely wouldn't be punished further by the league should he hoose to pursue that route.

Word out of Washington (Monday night) is that Alexander Ovechkin does not want to go to the All-Star Weekend as a suspended player. All accounts would lead us to believe that there's going to be some discussions (Tuesday) with Ovechkin, with the Capitals on this issue, and I would bet right now that Alexander Ovechkin is going to want to withdraw from the NHL All-Star Game.

I hope that Ovechkin doesn't make this decision just based off the anger he feels about being suspended and actually takes some time to make a rational decision.

For more on the Washington Capitals, please visit Japers' Rink.

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VIDEO: Brendan Shanahan Explains Alex Ovechkin's Suspension

The NHL has suspended Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin for three games for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek during Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss. NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan provided the league's reasoning behind the decision in a video that can be seen below:

"As the video shows, Ovechkin has Michalek lined up for what could and should be a clean, hard body check. However, he launches himself to deliver the hit on Michalek. This is a violation of the charging rule."

The charging rule- Rule 42 - states that "a minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates into or jumps into or charges an opponent in any manner." Ovechkin was not penalized on the play.

Shanahan continues, pointing out that Ovechkin made contact with Michalek's head, even if it was not the principal point of contact:

"Although Michalek's shoulder might be the initial point of contact for this hit, the act of launching causes contact to Michalek's head."

Shanahan said that during big hits, a player's feet might come off the ice slightly as a result of impact, but that was not the case with Ovechkin. According to Shanahan, Ovechkin drove and launched himself into Michalek, "recklessly making contact with Michalek's head."

Shanahan said the league believed Ovechkin's assertion that Michalek's head was not his target, but once Ovechkin launched himself into Michalek, he assumed responsibility.

The league also cited Ovechkin's prior history - two suspensions and two fines -as well as the fact that Michalek was not hurt on the play as factors in its decision.

We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day at SB Nation D.C., so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Capitals you can always head over to Japers' Rink. For some perspective from the other side of the ice, check out PensBurgh, SB Nation's Penguins blog. And for more on this and every NHL game, head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page.

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Alex Ovechkin Suspended Three Games For Hit On Zbynek Michalek

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has been suspended for three games by the NHL for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek Sunday, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

The offending hit came during the second period of Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime win Sunday. Just over four minutes into the period, Ovechkin left his feet before drilling Michalek into the boards. Ovechkin's shoulder also made contact with Michalek's head during the hit, even if it was not the principal point of contact. No penalty was called on the play and Michalek did not miss a shift afterwards, but that apparently was not enough for the NHL.

This will be Ovechkin's third career suspension. During the 2009-10 season, the league suspended Ovechkin two games for making a knee-to-knee hit with the Carolina Hurricanes' Tim Gleason and another two games for boarding former Chicago Blackhawks/current Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell.

Ovechkin will miss Tuesday's game against the Boston Bruins, which is Washington's last game before the All-Star break. The final two games of his suspension will be served after the All-Star Game, though he is eligible to play in the All-Star Game if he so chooses.

Ovechkin will be eligible to return February 4.

We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day at SB Nation D.C., so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Capitals you can always head over to Japers' Rink. For some perspective from the other side of the ice, check out PensBurgh, SB Nation's Penguins blog. And for more on this and every NHL game, head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page.

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No Suspension, Fine For Zbynek Michalek For Hit On Matt Hendricks

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek will receive neither a fine nor a suspension for his hit on Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks Sunday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari.

During the second period of Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime victory Sunday, Michalek hit Hendricks along the end boards. Michalek's elbow made contact with the back of Hendricks' head as he crumpled into the boards. Michalek received a two-minute elbowing minor penalty on the play. A league spokesman told The Washington Times' Stephen Whyno that the reason behind the decision was that Michalek's knees buckled while attempting the hit, causing him to lunge forward.

No punishment for Michalek will likely not sit well with Hendricks, who spoke out about the incident after practice Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

"I knew he was in the vicinity," Hendricks said. "I knew he was coming, but I didn't expect that. I tried to play the puck behind the boards to [Troy] Brouwer, behind their net. You try to put yourself in a good position to take hits and stuff. [At] the same time, I was a couple feet off the boards going towards the puck. I don't think it was a clean hit, but he got an elbowing penalty for it, put us on the power play."

“You do you want it to be physical," he continued. "You don’t want head shots. You don’t want guys going hunting for each other, trying to put them out with concussions, things like that. But at the same time, if this game isn’t played physically, it’s not a very good hockey game. You see all the skill take over. [It] makes the game easy on a lot of the players.”

We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day at SB Nation D.C., so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Capitals you can always head over to Japers' Rink. For some perspective from the other side of the ice, check out PensBurgh, SB Nation's Penguins blog. And for more on this and every NHL game, head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page.

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Alex Ovechkin, Dale Hunter Refuse To Comment On Possible Suspension

BALLSTON, Va. - Mum was the word Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who declined to comment on his hearing Monday afternoon for his hit on the Pittsburgh Penguins' Zbynek Michalek during Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss.

"I don't know, we'll see," Ovechkin said when asked if he thought his hit was suspension-worthy. "It was a hit. I don't want to comment [on] my hit and I don't want to comment on something [until] after the call [from NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan]."

The hit in question came just over four minutes into the second period Sunday. Ovechkin left his feet and drilled Michalek against the boards. Ovechkin's shoulder made contact with Michalek's head at one point, though it did not seem that it was the principal point of contact.

Head coach Dale Hunter also refused to comment on the hit, saying it was under review by the league.

Ovechkin's hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET, according to Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos.

We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day at SB Nation D.C., so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Capitals you can always head over to Japers' Rink. For some perspective from the other side of the ice, check out PensBurgh, SB Nation's Penguins blog. And for more on this and every NHL game, head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page.

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Capitals Vs. Penguins: Alex Ovechkin, Zbynek Michalek To Meet With Department Of Player Safety Monday

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek will both meet with the NHL's Department of Player Safety Monday to discuss their respective hits during the Penguins' 4-3 overtime win Sunday.

Both hits took place during the second period. First, Ovechkin left his feet to hit Michalek along the boards while also making contact with his head at 4:05. No penalty was called and Michalek was not injured on the play.

Meanwhile, Michalek's meeting will discuss his hit about five minutes later on Matt Hendricks. Michalek drove Hendricks into the boards with his elbow making contact with Hendricks' head. Michalek received a two-minute elbowing minor on the play, but Hendricks did not miss a shift. A video of the hit can be seen below via NBC Sports:

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Ovechkin's hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon, while Michalek's is scheduled for Monday morning.

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VIDEO: Alex Ovechkin Levels Zbynek Michalek

Because it wouldn't be a Capitals-Penguins game -- however watered down -- without a big hit, here's Alex Ovechkin wrecking Zbynek Michalek on the boards, via CSN Washington:


We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day at SB Nation D.C., so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Capitals you can always head over to Japers' Rink. For some perspective from the other side of the ice, check out PensBurgh, SB Nation's Penguins blog. And for more on this and every NHL game, head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page.

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