Nicklas Backstrom said last month he didn’t care about going to the NHL All-Star Game. Now, he won’t be, as the Washington Capitals’ two All-Stars are Alex Ovechkin and Dennis Wideman.
Ovechkin will appear in his fifth straight All-Star Game and Wideman his first.
“On my team right now, we have lots of guys who can be an All-Star,” Ovechkin said. “It’s lots of attention there, lots of fans. You just play with the great players over there. It’s nice time.”
Ovechkin suggested that Backstrom needs to go “a hundred percent,” and mentioned Jason Chimera, too.
Ovechkin has 17 goals and 16 assists this season, not quite All-Star numbers. But teammates said he should go anyway.
“I think it’s good for the sport. He’s one of the most well-known names in hockey,” forward Troy Brouwer said. “If you want to sell the game, you’ve got to sell it with a name like Ovechkin. I think that he probably should be going to the All-Star Game just to make sure that we’re selling the game of hockey.”
Wideman has eight goals and 21 assists this season and was chosen over the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom. The NHL All-Star Game takes place Jan. 29 in Ottawa.
“It doesn’t matter where it’s going to be. But in Canada it’s always lots of attention, always lots of people out there,” Ovechkin said. “Every time I go do All-Star Game, it’s all about fans and the fans have to enjoy it.”
Wideman is set to address the media at 2 p.m.
Here’s the full list of All-Stars is here: http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=76666&navid=DL|NHL|home