The Washington Capitals star left winger was suspended three games for a brutal head check on Pittsburgh Penguins' Zybnek Michalek, according to Yahoo Sports.
Ovechkin explained himself in the Washington Times:
My heart is not there. I [got] suspended, so why I have to go there? I love the game; it's great event. I'd love to be there, but I'm suspended. I don't want to be a target. I feel I'm not deserving to be there right now. If I suspended, I have to be suspended. That's why I give up my roster [spot].Ovechkin's decision is an odd one, as he is eligible to play in the All Star Game even though he is suspended. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby chose not to play in last year's game in fear for player safety. Crosby has suffered several concussions in the past year, which ultimately held him out of last year's game as well.
Alex Ovechkin has been in the NHL for six years, after being drafted #1 in the first round of the NHL Draft in 2004. He was born in Moscow in 1985. His father was a professional soccer player and his mother was an Olympic medalist in basketball. Since entering the NHL, Ovechkin has racked up 321 goals and 332 assists, has won numerous awards including the 2006 Calder Memorial trophy (Rookie of the Year), the Hart Memorial trophy (NHL MVP) and the Maurice Richard trophy (most goals in a season) in 2008 and 2009.