Bettman: Show up or else - 1-23-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

We basically take a day off from the computer and this happens.

The NHL will essentially suspend injured players who will skip festivities at the All-Star Lame Game. Sidney Crosby is showing up but not playing in the game. Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom are not appearing whatsoever will be forced to sit out the Red Wings' next game Tuesday in Columbus.

EN Says: So let us get this straight. A regular season game with playoff implications is less important than an exhibition game where everyone is going at half speed?

Colin Campbell told TSN "We've all got obligations to the fans, the rights holders - this game is being televised around the world."

Rubbish. The only reason this is being done is for sponsors. Honda, Reebok and tons of other sponsor pay a lot of money to be associated with this game. The NHL wants its brightest stars there for one simple reason. Money.

If Bettman, Campbell and and company were really concerned about fans, they would allow Datsyuk and Lidstrom to rest and play in that Columbus game. Instead, they are denying Columbus fans a chance to see two of the world's best players. (Granted Columbus fans probably don't mind seeing those two miss the game for the sake of their team's chances at winning.)

Still, the fact that the league is putting money ahead of players' health is disgusting.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this is the lenght of the suspension. One game. Ottawa's Jarkko Ruutu elbowed Montreal's Maxim Lapierre in the head, injuring him and got two games.

We suppose if Datsyuk and Lidstrom had insulted Dion Phaneuf's girlfriend then skipped the All-Star Lame Game, the punishment would've much more severe.

NOTE: Detroit defenseman Ken Holland sounded pretty mad over this whole joke:

"I'm not going to call Nick and tell him he's got to go to Montreal to sit and talk with the media for a day. Imagine me calling Nick, a six-time Norris Trophy winner, four-time Stanley Cup winner and someone who has gone to the last 10 all-star games and telling him he can't spend the time with his four boys and wife. I have too much respect for Nick because I know he's playing in pain. He's shown up at every NHL Awards show he's been nominated for. He's done everything the league has asked him to do. He's put in his time and he's paid his dues. I'm backing my player because I know he's hurt."

(Photo: Luis M. Alvarez/Associated Press)

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