Nikita Kucherov
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Suspension for Nikita Kucherov from the skills competition: It could cost him dearly

Published February 5, 2024 at 11:35
The NHL All-Star weekend is a crucial promotional event for the league. That's why players who don't attend without a valid reason are suspended for one game.

Nikita Kucherov found a way to avoid suspension and still not attend. The star forward was physically there but didn't put any effort into the skills competition on Friday night.

He was booed, and many called for him to be suspended or fined for this total lack of respect towards the fans and the NHL.

While it doesn't seem that actions of that sort will be taken by Gary Bettman, the repercussions could be significant from another perspective.

According to Elliotte Friedman, first and foremost, Kucherov should no longer receive invitations to the All-Star Game, which might suit him just fine.

Secondly, and where it becomes more consequential, Kucherov could receive significantly fewer votes for end-of-season awards, such as the Hart Trophy for the most valuable player.

Leading the NHL's overall standings alternately with Nathan MacKinnon, Kucherov is undoubtedly a significant candidate for this prestigious award. However, his actions could harm his chances considerably.

"People were like 'He shouldn't win the Hart Trophy based on that. What do Hart Trophy winners do? They go to the All-Star Game and they put on a show right? Or at least try to put on a show?' I don't think that should cost him votes but I think it could. I think it's entirely possible that it does."

- Elliotte Friedman

The Hart Trophy is the highest individual honor a player can achieve in their hockey career. As Friedman mentions, logically, his actions shouldn't influence votes, but it might very well be the case nonetheless.

It's akin to honoring someone everyone dislikes. It's not very popular.

Source: Hockey Feed
February 5   |   645 answers
Suspension for Nikita Kucherov from the skills competition: It could cost him dearly

Do you think Kucherov's actions could cost him the Hart Trophy?

Yes42565.9 %
No22034.1 %
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