Here are the results of the poll, the headline and the last question were taken from actual tweets...
SHOULD OVI SUCK IT UP AND GO TO ASG?
53% No, because the rest will help him in playoff run.
25% No, he was not voted into the All-Star game by the fans.
11% Yes, he should because he was selected by the NHL.
11% Yes, because a ton of young kids look up for him.
78% said No, 22% said Yes.
Similar poll conducted by Capitals Insider:
Just to remind you that basically NHL either agreed that if Ovi would go, it would be a distraction or didn't want to give him another suspension. Obviously the Capitals and the NHL talked before the announcement:
TSN: What message is the NHL sending by not suspending Alexander Ovechkin for skipping the All-Star Game? That it's optional for everybody or it's just All-Star and not worth going to war with the Capitals and their superstar?
Bob McKenzie: There's no hill to make a stand on here. They just gave him a three game suspension, they didnt feel like making it a four-game suspension. If there was no suspension here there wouldn't be an issue and they would force him to go.
Here's a nice exchange of the tweets after some St. Louis player called Ovi's decision classless:
And finally, read (if you haven't already) an excellent post from Japer's Rink by Becca H.
If he attended, as he was originally supposed to do, the weekend would become about his suspension and his hit; it would distract from the focus of the weekend and leave a bit of a black cloud over what is supposed to be a fun event, not just for the fans but the players, too (not to mention deprive another player who wasn't suspended from participating in his first - and perhaps only - All-Star Game). If he bowed out, it would be seen as petulant, a "take your ball and go home" move that meant he was pouting over having to take his medicine.More...
Ultimately he chose the latter, sending a number of pundits, fans and NHLers past and present into a tizzy. The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont went so far as to say that Ovechkin needs to be "more respectful of the ASG" – no offense to Mr. Dupont, but of all the things we want Ovechkin to be respectful of (his teammates, opponents, GM and coach), the All-Star Game ranks pretty low on the list.
And if you ask me, the collective outrage of a vocal group of Ovechkin detractors is dripping with irony and hypocrisy.