Report: One Player Tested Positive for COVID-19, One Deemed “Close Contact” Between Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ilya Samsonov

Photo: The Athletic

On Saturday, Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov was removed from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, but center Evgeny Kuznetsov remained. According to The Washington Post‘s Samantha Pell, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said one of the players tested positive and one was deemed a close contact. The person did not distinguish which player tested positive for the virus.

Although he was taken off the list, Samsonov did not dress for Saturday’s Game 1 against the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena. There is still no timeline on when both will return to the ice.

Both players were benched for the game against the New York Rangers on May 3 for violating team rules. They were placed on COVID-19 protocol the next day. Samsonov and Kuznetsov were on the list in January for nearly a month. It was later reported that Samsonov tested positive for COVID-19.

Per the NHL, the reason a player is listed as “unavailable” due to COVID protocols includes: (1) an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed; (2) mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals; (3) required quarantine as a high-risk close contact; (4) isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; (5) quarantine for travel or other reasons.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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