Alex Ovechkin

Timonen on Ovechkin’s All-Star Game absence: “the fans are the ones who pay our salary”


Veteran Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen didn’t outright say Alex Ovechkin should be at the All-Star Game in Ottawa instead of sunning himself on the beach in Florida, but…well, you decide what Timonen really thought about Ovechkin’s decision to skip the festivities after getting suspended by the NHL.

“I always think this is kind of your personal choice, but for the fans, I don’t think it’s right. Still, the fans are the ones who pay our salary and that kind of stuff,” Timonen said, as reported by the Washington Times. “They wanted to see him; he’s one of the best players in the world. At the same time, it’s been a long season for him and maybe he’s got tiny injury or something. But as a fan, I wanted to see him here.”

The Times reports that most players “side-stepped questions about Ovechkin, essentially saying it wasn’t their call” – a predictable response given players don’t like to criticize other players in these sorts of situations. One day it could be them wanting to opt out of something. Plus there’s the whole union solidarity thing. After all, this is a league event, and it’s the league that suspended Ovechkin.

Regardless, Timonen’s right about the fans. They’re the ones who end up getting shortchanged. Even if James Neal is more deserving of the honor — and he probably is based on this one season — is there anyone who shelled out big bucks for tickets to the skills competition or game that’s happy they get to see Neal instead of Ovechkin?

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin

The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.