FanDuel - WFBC

January 24, 2009

Defending Cup champs go unrepresented in All-Star game, and lose 2 stars for a game because of it.: Lidstrom and Datsyuk opt out of Sunday's farce to nurse nagging injuries, but because of a rule instated last season, they'll have to also sit out Detroit's game against Columbus on Tuesday. Sidney Crosby, Bettman's golden boy, will not be punished for sitting out the All-Star game, however...

posted by MeatSaber to hockey at 01:27 AM - 15 comments

Bettman's quoted as saying this exhibition game is "for the fans" and that they should play. So, exactly who is the game he's missing for?

What a horse's ass he is for introducing and enforcing this rule.

posted by dfleming at 01:57 AM on January 24

Just to clear things up a bit. Lidstrom and Datsyuk are not being penalized because they are not playing in the game, they are being penalized because they will not be in attendance at all. Crosby will not be penalized because he will be in attendance even though he's not playing.

Whether the rule is ridiculous or not, let's not make a false comparison.

posted by BoKnows at 01:58 AM on January 24

Everyone in the Detroit organization was well aware of the rule and supports both players decision. Now they need to suck it up and play the regular season game without them. They'll survive. As for the rule itself, the league wants to do everything it can to keep the event as one it's showcases. I'm not going to blame them for that. And I applaud Crosby's understanding of how much of an honor it is and how he (and others) want to be in attendance, no matter what. Lidstrom is a tremendous player, but just because he, himself has been to so many doesn't mean the NHL wants him to blow it off and not show up. It's part of their job, just like when I have to go to three-day trainings for my job. I'd often like to stay home and not attend, but this is what is expected. It's what I signed up for. Making a player have to have missed at least a game prior to the All-Star event seems to be a good way of deciding which players are actually too banged up to not even be required to attend. Eventually teams will probably find ways to play around with that rule in order to get certain players what they want.

posted by dyams at 09:06 AM on January 24

Eventually teams will probably find ways to play around with that rule in order to get certain players what they want.

It's easy; you just file a fake injury report before the all-star game. Hell, Lidstrom is sitting out for medical reasons; he's in his late 30's and has tendinitis throughout the season and they thought that it would be in his best interest to get a mid-season break.

The NHL should spend more time figuring out why players want to sit this game out (the season is too long, too drawn out and this weekend is now a carnival instead of one game) and fixing that problem rather than putting an ultimatum on what should be a fun event. If the all-star game was still a game and not a media weekend, I doubt that many players would skip it.

posted by dfleming at 10:48 AM on January 24

It's part of their job, just like when I have to go to three-day trainings for my job. I'd often like to stay home and not attend, but this is what is expected. It's what I signed up for.

Anyone know if the All-Star Game is actually in the player contract? I don't actually know, but I'd be very surprised if it was. The players only get paid for the regular season games, so technically their work obligations stop if it's an exhibition game. (Or a playoff game, technically, but opting out of playoff games would be a career killer, of course.)

I think a better analogy for the regular-joe working world would be an office picnic on a weekend.

It's Saturday morning and my cartoons are over, so I have nothing left to do but split hairs.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:17 PM on January 24

My biggest beef with this rule is that a player must either sit out a game prior to the all-star game due to injury, or attend the weekend's "festivities" to be exempt from punishment. So if Lidstrom was injured in the Wings last game before the break, would he still be punished? The weekend is already a farce, whether they played or not. What should be more important to the players, being healthy(ier) for the stretch run, or flying off to play an exhibition game in a city Bettman won't even let them play in during the regular season?

posted by MeatSaber at 12:34 PM on January 24

Bettman's take is that if you are injured, you do not have to play in the all-star game, but you still have to show up. Crosby, though injured, is showing up, thus he is not to be punished. Lidstrom and Datsyuk, both injured, would not be required to play, and have chosen not to show up. The all-star game is the league's attempt to "showcase" its best, even if they are not on the ice. Lidstrom's and Datsyuk's actions do not help the league, and could be considered conduct that is detrimental to the NHL. My personal opinion is that their actions are at least discourteous to the league and the fans. I support the suspensions.

posted by Howard_T at 01:00 PM on January 24

I'm sure there has to be something in every player's contract about being obligated to do what's best for the league. Players not showing up for the league's showcase weekend to mug for the media and the fans is not doing what's best for the league. Every player gets paid damn good money to play in the NHL and if elected by the fans to be in that game, healthy enough to play or not, they should show up for it.

posted by NoMich at 02:14 PM on January 24

Or what Howard said.
Sheesh! How did I miss that post?

posted by NoMich at 02:15 PM on January 24

if you are injured, you do not have to play in the all-star game, but you still have to show up

Having just broken some toes and banged up my ribs yesterday, I'd really love to sit in an airplane for a few hours twice in the next week.

posted by yerfatma at 11:57 AM on January 25

if you are injured, you do not have to play in the all-star game, but you still have to show up

The all-star game is not a game anymore; it's a three-day media event. If it meant sitting in the stands for two hours watching a hockey game and an hour before and after the game, I doubt that anyone would have a problem with that. The NHL has been expanding this thing every year to the point where the actual game is a miniscule part of the whole experience. It's three days of chaos. It's the last thing someone with tendonitis needs in the middle of a grueling season.

I understand that everyone wants to compare this to their own job situation and how theirs is worse and they're paid less for it but you also don't make your company the kind of coin these players do. They're out there 82 games a year, generating revenue for the team and the league. To question their commitment to the stakeholders and the fans because they want a rest partway through the season is dodgy at best.

Players who do best for the longevity of their season and their careers are the ones who do best for the NHL.

posted by dfleming at 02:23 PM on January 25


I understand that everyone wants to compare this to their own job situation and how theirs is worse and they're paid less for it but you also don't make your company the kind of coin these players do.

They're NHL players, and this is an important event for the league, regardless of what certain fans think. Get over it. He'll live, for gods sake. I love how players in all these sports want stipulations in their contracts that pay them more if they are voted to start the All-Star game, or make the All-Star squad, etc. Just don't make it mandatory they show up for the game. If the guy (Lidstrom) is hurt this badly, or needs rest this terribly, the team better give him a week or two off so he can really get himself together for the second half and playoffs. People are making it sound like he's supposed to go to Montreal to take part in the Ultimate Fighting Championships or something. The All-Star game generally involves these guys going about things with about the intensity they go through a off-day skate-around. As for the plane ride, I'm sure his wouldn't involve traveling in coach wedged in between two 375 lb. guys with B.O. with the seat in front of him 10 inches away. As it stands now, though, he's home for a few days, will miss a game, and should come back afterwards fresh as a daisy for the remainder of the season.

posted by dyams at 03:04 PM on January 25

If the guy (Lidstrom) is hurt this badly, or needs rest this terribly...

Nick Lidstrom has played in 10 all-star games in his career. He's also played over 1200 regular season games, and over 200 playoff games. Add to that the last 3 Canada/World Cups, the last 3 Olympics, not to mention 3 World Championships, and 3 European Championships. He plays upwards of 30 minutes every night, against the best of the best every night. He has missed a grand total of 27 games in 17 years to injury (and 1 to a *gasp* suspension). All with a smile on his face, and never a complaint. But he's also 38 years old. You'd think the NHL could give him a pass just once to rest up for his real job...

posted by MeatSaber at 08:48 PM on January 25

Apparently the rule states that you must be out one game prior to the ASG, in order to avoid the "show up for the event clause", well, Pavel Dattsyuk left the last game before the ASG in the 3rd period., when HE GOT INJURED! He should be exempt from this rule. If the NHL wants to "showcase" it's best talent how about coming up with a television contract that allows people to actually see the game? Here it the states the game was on VS., which is a premium cable channel. It goes to something like 2.5% of homes in the US, if that many How about the CBJ fans that have "paid" & are true hockey fans? They get punished by not being able to see 2 of the games stars..

posted by directpressure at 08:06 AM on January 26

One other quick point I forgot-If the league wants the ASG to be a showcase of the top talent in the league, for that year, they need to get system that does that. The "All Star" roster this year is a joke. I can think of a half a dozen (Metric conversion 6, JK!) players that don't deserve to be an "All Star".

posted by directpressure at 08:20 AM on January 26

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