This is pretty amazing if you ask me.
Apparently the NHL is threatening to suspend injured players unable to perform in the All-Star Game. Can't play? That's too bad. But you better show up or you're sitting out games that actually have meaning.
Even those who are grateful for the fan appreciation but honorably decline will be suspended.
Look no further than two guys from last year's Stanley Cup Finals - Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom.
They'll have to sit out a game next week because they skipped this weekend's festivities.
“This week I’ll try to be involved in everything but the actual on-ice things. Besides that I’ll try to be involved in everything else the guys are doing. As I said the game's for all the players that are playing in it but I’ll try to do what I can.”
Penguins official release
It might be a canned response, but at least it's not getting him suspended.
I've always had a general disinterest in the All-Star Game, but this definitely doesn't help. When I was a kid I liked it because it was an opportunity to see all of your favorite players in one place. But as I got older and experienced first hand the thrill of competition and the boredom of marketing and promotions, the appeal declined drastically.
And now there's this - the NHL threatening to suspend players for not playing through injury.
It's almost an insult really. Hockey players are notorious for their pain threshold and ability to play under the most extreme conditions. Now if you're injured you can either play hurt or sign countless autographs. Your choice.
''We've all got obligations to the fans, the rights holders - this game is being televised around the world."
NHL VP - TSN
Perhaps Mr. Cambell, but if you take this game out of Montreal I can't see anyone caring.
I'd like to see the ratings of this All-Star Game though. I wonder if they will be much higher from previous seasons thanks to the success of yet another Winter Classic.
Let's leave this up to a vote.