The Capitals aren’t out of the woods just yet.
Washington on Wednesday placed four players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list, according to ESPN: forward Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and goalie Ilya Samsonov.
This comes hours after the NHL fined the team $100,000 for violating the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. According to the statement, there were “social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings.”
The Caps released a statement later that evening, stating players recently had interacted in a hotel room “outside of team approved areas.” They condemned the players’ decision in their statement.
“Our training staff has worked extremely hard to create a safe environment for our players and staff to be able to compete this season,” the statement said. “… We accept the NHL’s decision and once again will reiterate the COVID-19 Protocols in place to make sure the players are in full compliance moving forward.”
Ovechkin offered and apology, as well.
“I regret my choice to spend time together with my teammates in our hotel room and away from the locker room areas,” he said. “I will learn from this experience.”
Hopefully, the players have learned their lesson.