When the Wings take the ice with the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, two familiar faces will be out of the lineup due to what one would call a difference in opinion. Pavel Datsyuk and Nick Lidstrom are two of the league’s classiest and most under-appreciated players. For them to get suspended for not playing in an exhibition is a real shame to both the Wings and the league.
Let’s face the facts – the NHL All-Star Game is not much different than the game you would play in grade school with your friends. The only difference between your playground game and this one are the venues in which they are played. For a game considered to be fast and hard-hitting, this looked like a bad practice with no effort. If this game were not being held in Montreal, I would have been shocked if anyone would have showed up. Thank goodness for Sidney Crosby that this game was being held relatively close to his home so he could personally avoid suspension by making a cameo.
The NHL’s biggest problem is not a single player here or there not following directions from Gary Bettman. In fact, I believe Gary Bettman is the sole reason why the league is losing its hold as one of the top four sports. The league’s extension into many locations in the south has seemed to be a massive failure as has his implementation of the salary cap (His league-wide strike also did not help things out). If the two points on the line Tuesday night impact the final standings, perhaps a commissioner may need to be suspended.