Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/22/09 at 02:35 PM ET
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The official reason for Lidstrom’s absence is a lingering elbow injury. It’s just not one that will keep him out of any meaningful games. Datsyuk left the Red Wings game in the third period Tuesday night with a hip pointer, leaving coach Mike Babcock, an assistant with the Western Conference team, as the only representative from the Red Wings involved in all-star weekend.
But it’s clear Lidstrom could have played in his 10th All-Star Game if he really wanted to. Perhaps he was concerned the league would spell his name “Lindstrom” on the back of his Western Conference sweater.
The NHL, meanwhile, grumbles about these things privately and basically allows this stuff to happen. The reality is if a player essentially doesn’t feel like playing in the All-Star Game or the YoungStars Game, he doesn’t have to do so. In fact, a lot of NHL teams are just as guilty as the players. They have no problem having them in the lineup before and after the All-Star Game, but often put pressure on their best players to skip the event.
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