NHL All-Stars comment on Alex Ovechkin's withdrawal

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OTTAWA | More than a handful of NHL All-Stars shared their thoughts Friday on Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin skipping the event because of suspension.

Here are the full quotes from each player:

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen

“I always think this is kind of your personal choice, but for the fans I don’t think it’s right. Still, the fans are the ones who pay our salary and that kind of stuff. They wanted to see him; he’s one of the best players in the world. At the same time, it’s been a long season for him and maybe he’s got tiny injury or something. But as a fan, I wanted to see him here.”

New York Rangers forward Marian Gaborik

“It’s his own choice. He was suspended so he didn’t feel like he should be part of it, which is fine. It’s his decision. I support it.

“He should be here. He deserves to be here, but his choice to opt out is just fine.”

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk

“I’m not talk about particular Ovechkin.”

On young players not wanting to go

“I don’t know any player don’t want to go there. I think it’s every player want to go there. It’s fun and I’m more happy for them to be there.”

Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn

“It’s up to him. It’s his personal thing to come or not. I don’t have much to say about that.”

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard

“No, it doesn’t bother me at all. I think it’s his own opinion and if he feels like he’s going to be a distraction, I think he deserves that right to exercise it.”

On plus side of being goalie and Ovechkin not playing

“I don’t have to worry about that cannon coming down over the blue line and letting one go. For a goalie it’s a little bit of a sigh of relief.”

Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry

“I don’t know. He has his opinion and he’s allowed to voice his opinion and he made a decision.”

Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell

“I don’t know the whole ins and outs of it all and I don’t know what’s going on and how healthy Alex is. I’m happy to be here.”

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf

“It’s an honor to be here and to take part in an All-Star Game. It’s unfortunate that a guy didn’t come but that’s his decision. That’s not for me to comment on. He made his decision. … I’m glad to be here and I’m enjoying myself and I know all the other guys that are here are enjoying it too.”

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