Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty
News about the Washington Capitals’ COVID-19 violation has quickly made its way around the league. Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand recently expressed his displeasure about the Capitals breaking the NHL protocol.
“I think the big thing is, it’s more a respect thing,” Marchand said, according to WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin. “We all want to be able to play, and there’s rules put in place for a reason. They’re not that hard to follow.”
The NHL fined the Capitals $100,000 for a violation involving social interactions among team members who were in close contact without wearing masks. An incident at the team hotel stemmed the fine, which led to captain Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov, and goaltender Ilya Samsonov being placed on the NHL’s COVID-19-related absences list Wednesday night.
On Thursday night, news broke that Samsonov tested positive for the virus. According to the Washington Post, the team received news of Samsonov’s positive test Tuesday night after a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Samsonov, who did not play Tuesday, immediately went into isolation and is following the NHL’s coronavirus guidelines, according to one person with knowledge of the situation. He stayed in Pittsburgh while the rest of the team flew back to Washington, but he has since returned to the D.C. area.
Samsonov’s positive test initiated the league’s contact tracing protocol. Through the contact tracing process, the team and league learned all four Russians hung out multiple times together in a Pittsburgh hotel room during their trip, according to one person with knowledge of the matter. At those gatherings, which violated NHL protocols, the players watched sports and played video games.
Marchand also said, “We all know the consequences of breaking the rules, and we know what the rules are. So they brought that on themselves. We’ve all been told very heavily what we’re allowed to do and what we’re not allowed to do, so it is what it is on their side of things.”
As a result, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, and Orlov are all in quarantine and will miss a minimum of seven days (at least the next 4 games) due to response guidelines.
Local officials and medical professionals establish the guidelines that players follow in cities and states. In Northern Virginia, a seven-day quarantine and four consecutive negative tests are required, which equates to a minimum of four games for Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, and Orlov. That means the three Russians will be out at least until the Bruins game on January 30th, missing at least the two games against the Buffalo Sabres and two games against the New York Islanders.
By Della Young