The Washington Capitals announced on Wednesday that they will begin small group skates at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia, starting phase two of returning to play. No more than six players can take the ice at a time but the skates are optional. The public will not be allowed to watch these informal skates until further notice.
Players in the area include forward T.J. Oshie, goaltender Braden Holtby, center Nicklas Backstrom, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, and center Lars Eller. The skates will almost certainly have social distancing applied.
Teams across the league such as the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vegas Golden Knights started small group skates earlier this week.
Since phase two is optional for players, many may not arrive in the area until phase three (mini-training camps), which will start no earlier than July 10.
The Capitals will be one of 24 teams to participate in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and will play the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Philadelphia Flyers in a three-game round-robin tournament to determine Stanley Cup Playoff seeding in August.
The NHL season has been paused since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
By Harrison Brown