Lidstrom, Datsyuk to pay for all-star no-show
Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk are AWOL from the 57th NHL All-Star Game festivities as far as the league is concerned, and will be punished.
Sidney Crosby, meanwhile, will miss Sunday's showcase game because of injury but will not be disciplined because he made the trip from Pittsburgh and will take part in the all-star events.
After more than a handful of players opted to miss the all-star game last year in Atlanta, the NHL adopted a policy that states all players who decline to show after being named to the all-star teams must miss at least one game before or one game after the break.
Lidstrom played 26 minutes and 23 seconds and scored twice in Tuesday's 6-3 loss to Phoenix in Detroit's last game before the all-star break. Datsyuk logged 14 minutes, 14 seconds of ice time before he left in the third period with a hip injury.
Lidstrom and Datsyuk will each be a healthy scratch when the Red Wings are in Columbus on Tuesday. They will still be compensated.
Crosby said on Friday he had no problem with the ruling.
"I don't see any problems with this as long as the players know the situation," Crosby said on Friday. "That [decision by Lidstrom and Datsyuk] is their doing.
"It is up to the players to get behind this [game], to get on board."
NHL vice-president Colin Campbell said that the league pushed for the rule because too many players were skipping the game without good reason.
''We've all got obligations to the fans, the rights holders — this game is being televised around the world,'' said Campbell. He added that the two Red Wings wouldn't be facing punishment had they been like Crosby and simply shown up for the weekend festivities.
"If you come here, you are committing to everyone but if you can't play, you can't play," Campbell said Friday. "You can [still] commit your time."
This would have been Lidstrom's 10th all-star appearance and the third for Datsyuk. Their absence means that last year's Stanley Cup champions will have no player representation in Sunday's game, although coach Mike Babcock will be present.
Stéphane Robidas of the Dallas Stars and Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks were named as replacements for the two Red Wings.
''I feel bad for Nicklas Lidstrom,'' Campbell admitted. ''He's been here how many years now? It's unfair that he gets caught in this web.''
Young players get the benefit of the doubt with respect to the issue. The rule also doesn't apply to those who skip the YoungStars game, which will take place on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 6:30 p.m. ET).
With files from the Canadian Press