Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will not be playing in the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Nashville, Capitals coach Barry Trotz confirmed following Wednesday night’s game against the Flyers at Verizon Center.
TSN's Elliotte Friedman first reported the news.
Trotz confirmed Ovechkin will be suspended one game for his decision to skip the All-Star Game. That one-game suspension will be served next Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers at Verizon Center.
Ovechkin, 30, was the leading vote-getter among Metropolitan Division players and was named captain of the Metro All-Stars.
Ovechkin has been selected to play in six NHL All-Star Games but sat out the 2011-12 All-Star Game in Ottawa after he was suspended by the league just before All-Star weekend.
Trotz said Ovechkin has been bothered by an injury since November.
On Tuesday Ovechkin said he was “looking forward” to playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game and said the decision not to play was a "last-minute" one.
“Probably (for) most of the guys going it’s going to be hard to skate," Ovechkin said on Tuesday, "because we are going to spend there like two days before the game, so probably lots of guys going out and do some crazy stuff, but it’s OK. We’re going to do something special for the fans and it’s going to be fun.”
On Tuesday Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who will coach the Metro All-Stars, said he is concerned about players getting injured in the league’s new 3-on-3 All-Star format.
“When you’re fatigued you can actually probably blow a groin or something,” Trotz said. “If you have any kind of low back or groin issues, those are things that could lead to re-injury.”
Ovechkin leads the Caps with 28 goals and is third on the club with 42 points.
Ovechkin has played in four All-Star Games and last season lobbied for a car that was eventually donated to the American Special Hockey Association.