GMs to consider ‘increased’ penalties for skipping All-Star Game

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With the general managers’ meetings taking place this week in Florida, one of the topics to be discussed will be how players are penalized for missing the NHL All-Star Game.

“The general managers will be asked to have input on increased potential fines or suspensions for players who are voted into the All-Star Game but don’t go,” reported Elliotte Friedman Saturday. “The Players’ Association would have to be consulted.”

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin was voted into this season’s All-Star Game, but opted to rest over the break due to a nagging injury. The NHL suspended him one game for missing the event.

“We had to make a conscious decision on that,” Washington coach Barry Trotz told the Associated Press in January. “That’s the rules. You’ve seen other teams make that decision. I was out West, and Detroit’s made that decision a few times. The ultimate goal for us is to go deeper than we did last year, so sometimes you have to make those decisions. We made it. And we’ll just deal with it.”

Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews was similarly suspended one game for opting out of the exhibition.