The Washington Capitals had four players on the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex, the team’s practice facility in Arlington, Virginia, for their start of the NHL’s return to play plan’s phase two on Thursday morning.
The team confirmed that center Evgeny Kuznetsov, center Lars Eller, defenseman John Carlson, and goaltender Braden Holtby took advantage of the first day they had the ice available to them since March 11, the team’s last practice before the NHL season paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Capitals confirm that Braden Holtby, John Carlson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller skated today at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
This was their first day of Phase 2 voluntary workouts.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) June 11, 2020
Forward T.J. Oshie also stayed in the area during the pause but did not participate in the team’s first informal skate. He was on vacation not too long ago.
Coaches and other team staff (except medical and training staff) are not allowed on the ice with the players during phase two.
The NHL announced earlier on Thursday that teams can open mini-training camps, which is phase three of the return to play plan, on July 10.
Phase two is optional for players and they do not necessarily need to be in their club’s area to skate. So, expect most of the players to come back to the Washington area around the start of training camp.
The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, phase four, could start in August. The NHL is willing to start next season as late as December.
By Harrison Brown