The Colorado Avalanche have at least one player attending the All Star Weekend — and we in Avs Nation can be pretty sure he’ll actually attend if healthy.
So far, the Colorado Avalanche have one player set to participate in the All Star Weekend. Nathan MacKinnon was voted the Central Division captain for the second year in a row. The nomination is his fourth ever in his career.
The All Star Weekend is just under a month away, and I have no reason to think MacKinnon won’t attend. What’s more, unless the mid-season slump takes fast hold of the Avs, I expect one more player at least to be nominated — I’m guessing rookie defenseman Cale Makar. I would highly expect him to take part in the festivities, too.
The All Star festivities are far from onerous. Granted, they’re just in St. Louis this year instead of a warm place like San Jose. However, it’s customary to hold the weekend in alternating NHL cities. Why, Denver, Colorado, hosted the 2001 All Star Game that saw five Avs players attend — Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Ray Bourque, Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg.
The weekend usually starts with a stroll up the red carpet followed by some media content. On the next day, the players participate in skill competitions — their families are in attendance. On the final day, they play the actual All Star Game. Of course, it means nothing, so no one really gives it their all.
Really, the most strenuous thing the players do is probably the pressers and, hey you can’t shoot a cannon full of cupcakes at a rival for an all-expense paid weekend in a big city?
"“I have to listen to my body. I have to get ready for the second half of the year. I have to be healthy and focus on different things. It’s a hard decision, obviously, being the captain and missing the All-Star Game, but have to do [what’s] best for me and for my team.”"
Ovechkin is 34 years old. He’s been voted to the All Star Team 11 times. He’s attended nine — skipping last year and poised to skip again this year.
That is quite a few times to be so honored. But then, such honors come when you’re one of the elite members of an already elite group.
Our Foppa, Peter Forsberg, whose career was shortened by injuries, attended five All Star Weekends. Patrick Roy — who, as a goalie, hated the All Star Games — attended 11. Super Joe Sakic, who’s now our super GM, attended 12.
I feel like they saw the All Star Game for what it was — an honor. A recognition that’ they are literally the best of the best. And a chance to be around their fellow elite players of their caliber.
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And even a chance to have some fun. Like when Matt Duchene, then our star, donned a cowboy hat and literally blew the socks off the All Star announcer. Or that time Sandis Ozolinsh, then our star, was having so much fun at the fastest skate that he decided to do the last leg of it backward.
Those are memories that we fans get to share in. Sure, the games are maybe less than exciting, meaning nothing as they do. However, the skills competition and all the media content is what we fans lap up.
One of the arguments for why it’s OK for Ovechkin to skip the All Star Weekend is that he’s already 34, and maybe his body needs the extra rest. Well, the Capitals have the bye week right before the ASW. He’d still have five full days at whatever exclusive resort that tickled his fancy.
What’s more, Jaromir Jagr was a full decade older when he attended his final All Star Weekend.
Ovechkin is also a big proponent of NHL players being allowed to attend Olympic Games. Surely traveling thousands of miles to spend a couple weeks playing intense hockey is far more taxing than an exhibition game and some skills competitions.
Plus, when Ovechkin doesn’t attend the ASW, we don’t get to see him get drunk and make a fool of himself as he whines about not winning a car then tries to play it off like he just wanted it for charity.
Ovechkin is a rich, elite athlete who literally hobnobs with world leaders. He is the literal definition of someone who can do whatever he wants.
I just think it’s a shame he declines one simple duty, one that may not mean a lot to all the fans, but clearly means the world to many of the fans.
I guess I’m reminded of our own captain, Gabriel Landeskog. Last season, he didn’t just deign to attend the All Star Weekend. He actually participated in a campaign to get voted in. He made it fun for literally everyone — he just makes people feel good that way.
Well, I guess not everyone can be like the Colorado Avalanche’s ultra-classy captain.