The Washington Capitals announced on Monday morning that center Michael Sgarbossa has been removed from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol one day after entering it, meaning that he could have had a false positive test.
The 29-year-old joined center Nicklas Backstrom, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, and right-wing T.J. Oshie on COVID-19 protocol. Goaltender Zach Fucale on the AHL’s Hershey Bears is also on COVID-19 protocol.
Sgarbossa has two goals and three points in seven NHL games this season in addition to earning eight goals and 14 points in 15 AHL games.
Per an NHL’s press release from last season, the reason a player is listed as “unavailable” due to COVID-19 protocol 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.
37 NHL games have been postponed due to COVID-19 in the past week. The Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, and Colorado Avalanche were all shut down through Christmas due to the virus this past weekend. The NHL also postponed all games where a team has to cross the United States-Canada border through Christmas.
By Harrison Brown