Alex Ovechkin, who was named the captain of the Metropolitan Division team for the All-Star Game, has informed the NHL that he will skip the festivities to rest for the second half of the season, according to the reporter for the Washington Capitals website.
The 33-year-old leads the league with 29 goals.
Deciding to skip the game means that Ovechkin will have to miss one regular-season game, per NHL rules.
Ovechkin was looking at his his eighth All-Star appearance.
Ovechkin had been vocal about participating in the Olympics for his native Russia during last season, but league owners prevented NHL players from going. In the end, that may have helped Ovechkin, who was able to lead the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup in the summer.
The format for the All-Star event will follow last season’s with a four-team, 3-on-3 single elimination tournament.
The All-Star Skills Competition will take place Jan. 25.
The NHL Hockey Operations Department will choose the remaining players for each roster.