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The Puck Stops Here

On Iginla Missing The All Star Game

Every year a few players selected for the All Star Game opt out of it.  Usually this is because of injury and even in case of injury, the NHL does not take too well to it.  In the last All Star Game in 2009, Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom opted out of it.  They all had nagging injuries that were not serious enough to keep them out of regular NHL games, but they were better served by resting instead of travelling to and playing in an All Star Game.  The NHL forced them to either attend the game and take place in the non-hockey activities (such as interviews and autographs) or face suspension and only Crosby complied.  As a result, Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk were effectively suspended for the following game by the league.

This year the NHL stance appears to have softened.  Jarome Iginla was selected to the game and he opted out for personal reasons.  His grandmother is not in good health and he is using all star break as a chance (possibly a last chance) to visit with his grandmother.

I am not arguing that Jarome Iginla should be denied the chance to see his grandmother to be forced to participate in what is essentially a promotional spectacle for the league.  I am merely pointing out that people who had injury reasons to miss All Star Games in the past faced repercussions for their choices.  Iginla has no injury and seems to be facing no repercussions at all.  The NHL is inconsistent from year to year on how they handle players who opt out of the All Star Game.  Perhaps they realize that their reaction in the 2009 game was over the top, but they have toned down their reactions from past precedent.  How would they have reacted in 2009 if a healthy Jarome Iginla opted out of the game to visit his dying grandmother?  It appears to be quite different from how they have reacted in 2011.

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Comments

dickshilling's avatar

Brilliant

Posted by dickshilling on 01/26/11 at 02:19 AM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

Well, having a injury you can still walk around on and visiting a dying relative you may not get another chance to see are two vastly different scenarios.  Not sure how you can even compare those two.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 01/26/11 at 02:51 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

Well, having a injury you can still walk around on and visiting a dying relative you may not get another chance to see are two vastly different scenarios.  Not sure how you can even compare those two.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 01/26/11 at 12:51 AM ET

They are different, however, my problem with the whole thing is the situation with his grandmother doesn’t seem serious enough to warrant him missing any games, just the ASG.  If she were on her death bed he’d be with her no matter what, but he just wants the time off to visit her.  You have to wonder how serious the current situation is, and is he just using it as an excuse to blow the ASG off.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 01/26/11 at 03:04 AM ET

edillac's avatar

every player should just try and find a way to blow off the ASG,
noone needs that crap, but I wouldnt mind a league wide mini break before the tough part of the season starts

Posted by edillac from isolation on 01/26/11 at 06:15 AM ET

Avatar

They are different, however, my problem with the whole thing is the situation with his grandmother doesn’t seem serious enough to warrant him missing any games, just the ASG.  If she were on her death bed he’d be with her no matter what, but he just wants the time off to visit her.  You have to wonder how serious the current situation is, and is he just using it as an excuse to blow the ASG off.

I just had to throw this post into my HA (Hidden Agenda) detector and it spewed out the following:

I really dislike Jarome Iginla ever since he got away with an alleged butt-end on Henrik Zetterberg in the playoffs a few years ago and received no discipline from the league.  Since then, I’ve been biding my time waiting for any opportunity to rip into the guy and lo and behold, I’ve found it.  Blowing off the All-Star game to visit an ailing family member, I mean how sick can his grandmother really be?

Posted by dash_pinched on 01/26/11 at 10:45 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by dash_pinched on 01/26/11 at 08:45 AM ET

You’re wrong.

That butt-end was on Matthieu Schneider.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/26/11 at 10:51 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

[Posted by dash_pinched on 01/26/11 at 08:45 AM ET

Nah, I haven’t been biding my time, I’ve said numerous times I dislike Iginla because he’s a classless punk.  This, however, has nothing to do with that.  My point is where does the NHL draw the line on this.  The rule was that a player had to miss the game before or after the ASG to be excused from it, and it appears Iginla isn’t going to bother missing an actual game to be with his grandmother, just the ASG.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 01/26/11 at 12:45 PM ET

Steve Strowbridge's avatar

If she were on her death bed he’d be with her no matter what, but he just wants the time off to visit her.

I can almost state for a fact that Jarome Iginla is not aware of when his grandmother is actually going to die.

Posted by Steve Strowbridge from St. John's, NL, CA on 01/27/11 at 02:16 AM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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