NHL Suspends Players For Missing All Star Game; Other Sports Should Do The Same

Should Players Be Suspended for Skipping All-Star Games?

1/24/09 in NHL   |   Michael_Luchies   |   17 respect

All-Star games in professional sports were created to show off the league's best talent and to give fans an opportunity to witness all of the sports best players in one contest.  Over the years the All-Star games have gone from one of the most exciting events of the year, to an over-hyped exhibition.  One of the issues with All-Star games, especially in the NFL and NHL, is that some of the leagues best players refuse to play in the game.  One professional sports league is trying to stop this problem now, and it just might work. 

The NHL is not putting up with players missing the game or even skipping the festivities if injured.  Detroit Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom & Pavel Datsyuk will be forced to sit out the next Red Wings game if they completely miss this years NHL All-Star game.  Both players are "injured", but played in the Red Wings last contest, and would play in the next contest against Columbus.  NHL super star Sydney Crosby also will miss the NHL All-Star game but the NHL has yet to make a statement to the punishment he will face if he does not attend the festivities.  The NHL simply wants Lidstrom, Datsyuk, and Crosby to attend the events surrounding the game since they are not going to play. 

The concept of suspending players for not playing in an all-star game that they were selected to participate in is a smart choice for the NHL and may be instituted by other leagues.  These athletes make millions to do something they love, and it is important to give back to the fans that voted for them to play in their sports all-star game.  Athletes should play in their sports all star games. 

What do you think?
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1/25/09   |   voiceofreason   |   2 respect

If it was a true all star game, representing the 42 best players in the league that face off against each other, it is fine to say, yes they should attend, but thats not the case and hasn't been that way for years now.  The starting twelve players that are on the ice should be the elite the league has to offer to start the game.  Through ballot rigging, fans in Montreal voted four of their own players into that elite twelve. None of the four should be on the team, let alone starting it.  The same as the west, where two teams stacked the box to have their own players represent the elite twelve.  Regardless of the result through fan balloting, the only players that should be suspended for missing the game are those twelve players, no one else, because they are  insignificant fill ins to expand the roster.  When the real all stars are snubbed and are an after thought to play, they have every right to say thanks for considering me, but I have better things to do.  Bettman created the mess by allowing fans to have more than one vote and the true stars of the game were bypassed for fan favourites in certain cities.  When players lead the league in goals, assists, goals against, shutouts and win trophy after trophy every year as the leagues best, it is obvious that they should be on the team's elite twelve, not someone with two goals, 20 assists or isn't even in the top five goalies in the league.   It makes the game a mockery, when the stars are just thrown in the heap with the rest of the hasbeens and mediocre players. Then to threaten them with suspensions is just plain assinine and makes no sense.  Bettman had one job to do.  Ice a game with the real all star players in the league.  There are only 42 spots and he doesn't have to be a brain surgeon to know who they are.  Every team has one or two superstars to play and contribute to the game.  To ignore the real stars for a fan favourite makes the game a joke and not a true all star performance for the fans.  Without the players respect for the game, Bettman will just have to live with it, because it is his fault that the elite were snubbed and were looking forward to playing in games that count.

1/25/09   |   RichmondSpider

Jess wrote:
This is a tough one- while I agree that risking injury in a "meaningless" (and I use the term loosely - unlike the Pro Bowl, the NHL All Star game means something to the fans) game is not a good idea, I also know that it's not as rough and tumble as a regular game for the most part. The All Star Game resembles a heavy practice scrimmage; which I'm sure they have.

This is a game in which they're giving a little something back to the fans. If they choose not to play in the game, I think it's a little snub. I'm not sure a suspension is the answer but they should be reprimanded and reminded why they were selected in the first place.

All the more reason to can all of the "All Star" games for all of the major league sports.  Quit "playing the game" that the players really care about the fans, they care about the money, period - and there is nothing wrong with that. Quit thinking that the fans "care so much about the players" -  most fans expect the player to be there - and what kinda player are the if they can't be there - appreciate the honor.  Remember the last time you were voted "Employee of the Month" and what a piece of c*** you thought that was - you wanted to have more money in your check didn't you... same with the players - this is their job and profession - and we fans need to start thinking in those terms - they are not role models, they are not super-human, they are employees out there earning a paycheck and need to be treated as such by both sides of the field.

1/24/09   |   ML31   |   3615 respect

I only think an all star player should get suspended for not playing if his team is playing the Sharks in their next game.

1/24/09   |   gobigblue1960   |   4802 respect

The players should attend and play... the NHL should give the teams a week off the schedule, Thursday to Wednesday, to help the"injured" players.

1/24/09   |   kteacher   |   33985 respect

Jess wrote:
This is a tough one- while I agree that risking injury in a "meaningless" (and I use the term loosely - unlike the Pro Bowl, the NHL All Star game means something to the fans) game is not a good idea, I also know that it's not as rough and tumble as a regular game for the most part. The All Star Game resembles a heavy practice scrimmage; which I'm sure they have.

This is a game in which they're giving a little something back to the fans. If they choose not to play in the game, I think it's a little snub. I'm not sure a suspension is the answer but they should be reprimanded and reminded why they were selected in the first place.
(Edited by kteacher)

Well---I think I changed my mind. I don't think these guys should be suspended. (And no, my decision is by no way influenced by the fact that Columbus is one of the teams battling for the last couple of play off spots in the western conference. lol ) I simply feel sorry for all the Red Wings fans and players.

1/24/09   |   Jess   |   32868 respect

This is a tough one- while I agree that risking injury in a "meaningless" (and I use the term loosely - unlike the Pro Bowl, the NHL All Star game means something to the fans) game is not a good idea, I also know that it's not as rough and tumble as a regular game for the most part. The All Star Game resembles a heavy practice scrimmage; which I'm sure they have.

This is a game in which they're giving a little something back to the fans. If they choose not to play in the game, I think it's a little snub. I'm not sure a suspension is the answer but they should be reprimanded and reminded why they were selected in the first place.

1/24/09   |   Michael_Luchies   |   17 respect

wrote:
There was a report yesterday that he was already there. Hence, my notation. Yesterdays report said he was already there on Friday. And he had talked to the commissioner on Thursday. Just trying to make sure the correct facts are out there.

Thanks, good stuff

1/24/09   |   Michael_Luchies   |   17 respect

wrote:
The article is wrong. Crosby is already in Montreal and was in constant contact with the commissioner. He won't be suspended, he is toeing the party line.

The Red Wings players are just sore they weren't voted as all-star starters. Don't be like Michael Jordan and skip all the festivities. Give something back to the fans. Overpaid whiners.

by the way, I agree they should not be suspended. Fine them 100grand. But the players should be there.

Also, the players knew these rules ahead of time, so its not like this was a random action. The rule was instituted last All-Star game by the GM's in order to prevent the NHL all-star game from ending up like the NFL Pro Bowl.

And GM's apparently DO want their players to attend. They voted for this rule.

I just said "if he doesn't" attend.. I did hear that after this news was handed down he took a plane to attend the festivities...that probably wasn't the case, but I did hear he would be attending the events

1/24/09   |   jimmycaray

I am sure it is a great honour to play in all star game in the nhl, a young hockey players dream, the only way a player should not attend is if he is injured. sholud be suspended? no I dont think so. the nhl needs to come up with a way to make the all star game more interesting. i would like to see the All star game played outside as The winter Classic.  The winter Classic seems to be a big hit with the fans and thats what the all star game is about . The fans

1/24/09   |   Michael_Luchies   |   17 respect

wrote:
A suspension for the next game is completely rediculous.  You're making a player sit a meaningful game for skipping an unmeaningful one.  Fine them a lot, I'd be for that.  I think if they are selected they should be there in order to participate in the festivities, even if they dont play.

Yeah I'm there with you just because I'm a wings fan...but I am sick of players not giving a sh*t about the All Star game....they should give back to the fans that shell out a couple hundred dollars to watch the "best" play the game they love. 

1/24/09   |   kteacher   |   33985 respect

I think there is nothing wrong with Datsyuk and Lidstrom being suspended for not showing up to the All Star game. lol To bad the Wings next game isn't against the Kings. lol

1/24/09   |   LA_dodgers_fan

Redwingswin wrote:
Who cares, this is the only time most of them get to actually spend time with their family, Why isn't Crosby being suspended.

Because he showed up for the festivities and will be present at the game. The others completely blew off the weekend. 

1/24/09   |   Redwingswin

Who cares, this is the only time most of them get to actually spend time with their family, Why isn't Crosby being suspended.

1/24/09   |   thehockeyfan   |   1 respect

I agree with this article (good job mdluchies).  If they can play for their own teams being "injured" then they should be able to play the all star game.  If they can't play for their teams "injured" then they should at least attend the festivities.  It is a courtesy on their part to the fans that support and love them.  Now I can see if they aren't able to get around or something like that.  But in reality that is rarely the case.  I'm not sure how I feel about the fines.  With fines it tends to be about the money.  These players make big buck...they don't care about losing $500-$1000 for some RR.  The publicity and attention the all star game gives these players is amazing.  They need to step up to the plate for themselves as well as their fans.

1/24/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

No, I dont' agree they should be fined, suspended or anything else.  They are being paid to play for ONE team.  If they become injured in an All-Star game and can't play for their team, then what? Are the fans going to scream that they shouldn't have been playing?  Frankly, All Star games mean nothing to me personally and I couldn't care less if I ever watch one but that's just MY opinion, and I'm sure someone will tell me I'm wrong.

1/24/09   |   MWolverines1   |   6 respect

no way thay should be suspended maybe fined but not suspended just another case of Gary Bettman being an ASS