Center Nicklas Backstrom did not participate in the Washington Capitals’ first practice after the NHL’s holiday break on Wednesday after he was placed on COVID-19 protocol.
Nicklas Backstrom (hip) is not skating at the Caps’ optional practice today. He’s in COVID protocol.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) December 28, 2022
The 35-year-old, who has yet to play this season after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in June, has taken contact in practice for a couple weeks while preparing to return.
After being absent for the first 28 games of last season with the injured hip and returning for one game, Backstrom landed on COVID-19 protocol and missed the next two.
Per an NHL’s press release from the 2020-21 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.
This is the first time that a Capitals player has been placed on COVID-19 protocols this season.
Laviolette on Backstrom entering COVID protocol as he ramps up: “At least it’s now; he’s still out. He wasn’t planning on playing tomorrow. Now he’s dealing w/ this. I think this will be quick. …he’ll be right back up to speed quick.” #Caps
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) December 28, 2022
By Harrison Brown