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No Ovechkin at NHL All-Star Game after he enters COVID protocol


WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks on before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Capital One Arena on January 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Getty Images

So much for Alex Ovechkin vs. Connor McDavid on Wednesday, and Ovechkin being a captain at the 2022 NHL All-Star Game.

The Capitals announced that Ovechkin entered NHL COVID protocol because of a positive test result.

Fair or not, many dusted off their “Jump to Conclusions” mats and wondered if some All-Star dodging is afoot here between Ovechkin and the Capitals. As you may recall, Ovechkin accepted a one-game suspension to avoid the 2020 NHL All-Star Game.

Alex Ovechkin won’t attend 2022 NHL All-Star Game; Tom Wilson to replace him

If you’re like me, you simply aren’t particularly offended if Ovechkin really is just finding a way out of the 2022 NHL All-Star Game? Sure, it would be fun to see Ovechkin try to win “hockey blackjack,” but if his heart’s not in it, his heart’s not in it.

Also, he could, you know, actually have tested positive for COVID. Seems odd to totally dismiss the possibility outright, but you do you, Internet.

Ovechkin’s Capitals teammate, Tom Wilson, will replace him on the Metropolitan Division roster. Claude Giroux of the Flyers will take over as captain of the Metro squad.

In other roster news, Jonathan Marchessault of the Golden Knights has been added to the Pacific Division roster. That gives the host team three players with Marchessault, Mark Stone, and Alex Pietrangelo.

Here’s an updated look at the NHL All-Star Game rosters, and which skills events are taking place. Note that the winner of each individual event will take home $30,000.

NHL All-Star Skills event list

• NHL Fountain Face-Off
• NHL 21 in ’22
• NHL Fastest Skater (Previous winner: Mathew Barzal)
• NHL Save Streak (Previous winner: Jordan Binnington)
• NHL Hardest Shot (Previous winner: Shea Weber)
• NHL Breakaway Challenge (Previous winner: P.K. Subban, 2016 )
• NHL Accuracy Shooting (Previous winner: Jaccob Slavin)

[MORE: Brunette, Bednar, Brind’Amour, DeBoer named NHL All-Star coaches]

2022 NHL All-Star Game rosters

Atlantic Division (All-Star Appearance)

F Auston Matthews, TOR (4th) - captain
F Steven Stamkos, TB (7th) - via “NHL Last Men In” vote
Drake Batherson, OTT (1st) - will not attend due to injury
F Brady Tkachuk, OTT (2nd) - replacing Batherson
F Patrice Bergeron, BOS (3rd)
F Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA (2nd)
F Dylan Larkin, DET (2nd)
F Nick Suzuki, MTL (1st)
D Rasmus Dahlin, BUF (1st)
D Victor Hedman, TBL (3rd)
G Jack Campbell, TOR (1st)
G Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL (4th)

Central Division (All-Star Appearance)

*F Nathan MacKinnon, COL (4th) - will not be able to attend due to injury
F Joe Pavelski, DAL (4th) - replacing MacKinnon as captain
F Nazem Kadri, COL (1st) - via “NHL Last Men In” vote
F Kyle Connor, WPG (1st)
F Alex DeBrincat, CHI (1st)
F Kirill Kaprizov, MIN (1st)
F Clayton Keller, ARI (2nd)
F Jordan Kyrou, STL (1st)
D Cale Makar, COL (1st)
D Roman Josi, NSH (5th) - replacing MacKinnon
G Juuse Saros, NSH (1st)
G Cam Talbot, MIN (1st)

Metropolitan Division (All-Star Appearance)

F Claude Giroux, PHI (7th) - replacing Ovechkin as captain
Alex Ovechkin, WSH (8th) - will not attend after entering NHL COVID protocol
*F Mika Zibanejad, NYR (1st) - will not attend due to personal reasons
F Jake Guentzel, PIT (1st) - replacing Zibanejad via “Last Men in Vote”
F Tom Wilson, WSH (1st) - replacing Ovechkin
F Sebastian Aho, CAR (2nd)
F Jack Hughes, NJD (1st)
F Chris Kreider, NYR (2nd)
F Evgeny Kuznetsov WSH (2nd) - replacing Fox
*D Adam Fox, NYR (1st) - will not attend due to injury
D Adam Pelech, NYI (1st)
D Zach Werenski, CBJ (2nd)
G Frederik Andersen, CAR (2nd)
G Tristan Jarry, PIT (2nd)

Pacific Division (All-Star Appearance)

F Connor McDavid, EDM (5th) - captain
F Troy Terry, ANA (1st) - via “NHL Last Men In” vote
F Leon Draisaitl, EDM (3rd)
F Jordan Eberle, SEA (2nd)
F Johnny Gaudreau, CGY (6th)
F Adrian Kempe, LAK (1st)
F Timo Meier, SJS (1st)
F Mark Stone, VGK (1st)
F Jonathan Marchessault, VGK (1st)
D Alex Pietrangelo, VGK (3rd)
G Thatcher Demko, VAN (1st)
G John Gibson, ANA (3rd)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.