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Ottawa (Photo from the Ottawa Senators Twitter feed.)

All-Star Game 2012: Too Many Changes

The Senators home town, Ottawa, is the scene for this weekends All-Star game. When fans had voted for their favorite players, the stars were playing hard to earn a spot on the All-Star record. It’s an honor to be a part of the All-Star weekend, first a draft, then a fun-filled skill competition, and last a game. Since the roster has been released,  there have been a few changes(the original list is at http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/13778/all-star-additions-pretty-close-to-reality). 4 changes are due to injury. Jonathan Toews, who is out with an upper-body injury, will miss the All-Star game. In his place is Philadelphia Flyer LW Scott Hartnell, who netted a hat trick on Sunday’s loss to Boston in a shootout. Minnesota Wild C Mikko Koivu is also out due to injury, so in his place is aspiring star Jordan Eberle from the Edmonton Oilers. And the Winnipeg Jets’ defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will be replaced by Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. Also, Minnesota Wild rookie Nick Johnson will replace Edmonton rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins due to injury.

That isn’t the only Penguin who got a surprising call to the ASG. James Neal had received word within the last few days of his All-Star appearance. He took the spot of a true All-Star, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin. But Ovechkin isn’t injured. He was just handed a suspension from Brendan Shannahan and his crew in the safety office for three games. He had leaped into the air for a massive check on Penguins Zbynek Michalek, which ended up hitting Michalek in the head, causing injury. Ovechkin in an interview with Comcast Sportsnet said, “I love the game, it’s a great event and I love to be there, but I’m suspended and I do not want to be a target. I feel I do not deserve to be there.”

The reason Ovechkin gives for staying out of the All-Star Game is a good reason. I stand by his reasons and I can feel for it. He would be a huge target, wouldn’t you agree? The All-Star Draft is on Thursday, January 26th, the skills competition is on Saturday, January 28th, and the All-Star Game on Sunday, January 29th.

What do you think? Who will win the All-Star Game, Team Alfredsson or Team Chara? Send me a tweet at @NardoneDylan or email me at [email protected]

Tags: Alex Ovechkin All Star Game Brendan Shannahan Dustin Byfuglien James Neal Jonathan Toews Jordan Eberle Kris Letang Mikko Koivu Nick Johnson Ottaw Senators Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Scott Hartnell Team Alfredsson Team Chara Zbynek Michalek

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