Capitals

GM Brian MacLellan backs Alex Ovechkin's decision to sit out the All-Star Game

Capitals

Alex Ovechkin electing to sit out his second consecutive All-Star game has generated quite the reaction. 

Patrick Kane offered his thoughts on the subject two weeks ago while most fans are either disappointed he won't take part in the tradition as a captain or fine with him resting for the playoffs. 

You can place Brian MacLellan in the latter half of the public in question. The Capitals' general manager explained on Hockey Central why he'd prefer his 34-old goal franchise player to make sure he's at his best when it matters most. 

"We talked a few times about it," MacLellan said. "I think he's trying to pace this season out and looks at this as an opportunity to have some rest and regenerate and attack the second half of the year.

"I'd rather see him rested and scoring goals during the regular season than coming in tired and trying to get through the last half of the season," he said. 

Ovechkin's been an All-Star 12 times, won three Hart Trophies and one Stanley Cup. He's a surefire Hall of Famer and he's at the point where accolades don't matter as much as Cups do. 

The Caps are currently first in the Metropolitan Division and hold the best record in the league with 65 points. The Cup is the goal for this team, so why not pass up a chance to rest one of your most important players, especially when he's getting up there in age?

 

"I think age plays a factor here," he said. "When you're that old, it's hard to get through the season and be at your highest point for the playoffs.

"I get that there's a responsibility to the game from the league's point of view, but maybe they should have some exemptions for guys that have been there a certain amount of times or a certain age limit on it that they do have the option to bypass it."

While it may be frustrating for some Capitals fans not to see Ovechkin out there with every other All-Star in just over two weeks, it'll be much sweeter when he's fully healthy at the start of another Stanley Cup run. 

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