Ovechkin to skip NHL All-Star Game

Alex Ovechkin has announced he will skip the NHL All-Star Game this season. 

The Washington Capitals' star forward will not participate in the league's showcase weekend in San Jose, California, to allow his body a full week to recuperate for the second half of the campaign.

Ovechkin experienced a shorter offseason last year following his team's Stanley Cup success, with the Capitals crowned champions for the first time in their history. 

"My body needs a rest," Ovechkin told reporters after a practice session on Wednesday.

"It's a tough decision, obviously. I like to be part of all the events, but right now I think at that time of the year and at my age, we decided to take a one-week break."

Per NHL rules, Ovechkin will have to sit out either Washington's game at Toronto on January 23 or their February 1 fixture against Calgary as a penalty for sitting out All-Star weekend. 

The 33-year-old had been selected as Metropolitan Division captain in a fan vote last month, securing his 11th All-Star selection. 

The All-Star skills competition will be held on January 25, with the game itself set for the following day. Full team rosters will be announced on Wednesday.

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