International travel has always been a pain in the proverbial caboose. But for those Washington Capitals players returning from Europe during the current global pandemic, it’s been a next-level pain.
“It’s all starting to come together. The boys from Sweden and the rest of Europe are already here, and now some of them are coming from across America and Canada, those that will travel by car,” said Capitals defenseman Michal Kempný about the gradual return of his teammates to Washington.
Those who did not have to get on a plane and only had to travel from around the United States by car are required to undergo just one coronavirus test. What a difference compared to what Kempný had to go through after his return flight from the Czech Republic.
“Every player who arrives from Europe must have four negative coronavirus tests while in Washington. After completing them, I will have a medical examination and only after that will they let me into the process, where I can get involved among the boys and train with them on the ice.”
Jonas Siegenthaler reiterated the process in a recent interview. “I’m ready,” says Jonas Siegenthaler shortly before departure from Zurich. “I have to be in quarantine for seven days. I’ll use the time as a break. I am tested four times during this time. If all tests are negative, I can go to training.”
Kempny added that it’s not that you need to pass two tests per day to have the required four negative tests.
“It was every other day, so it comes out at about nine days. Every day we also have to report our temperature via an application on our phone and fill out a questionnaire,” said Kempny, who played in 58 games before the interruption of the season.
Some can go on the ice
Kempny noted that the process is different across teams in the NHL.
Kempný mentioned the case in Carolina, where two Czechs play – Petr Mrázek and Martin Nečas.
“Frost and Neči flew after us. And they are already training on the ice. The situation is a little different in each city. In DC, it’s been quite fun.”
But what all teams have the same are the deadlines. Training camps begin on Monday, July 13, and at the end of the month, 24 teams will descend on the Canadian cities of Toronto and Edmonton, where the NHL playoffs will begin on August 1.
By Jon Sorensen