Washington Capitals fined for COVID-19 protocols violation

Jan 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) carries the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals were fined $100,000 on Wednesday for a violation of health and safety protocols.

Four players were also placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list, including star Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin was joined by teammates Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and goalie Ilya Samsonov on the list that deems them “unavailable to play or practice, in accordance with the league’s COVID protocols.”

The players were placed on the list after they were found to have gathered together in a hotel room.

At this time, none of the players have tested positive for the virus.

The players’ availability for Friday’s home game against the Sabres has yet to be announced. The Capitals play five times between Jan. 22-30.

The Capitals organization acknowledged the situation Wednesday and went along with the NHL’s decision.

“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 team said. “We are disappointed by our players’ choice to interact in their hotel room and outside of team approved areas. 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 apologized for the incident.

“I regret my choice to spend time together with my teammates in our hotel room and away from the locker room areas,” he said in a statement. “I will learn from this experience.”

The Capitals began the season 2-0-2 and sit atop the East Division. Ovechkin currently leads the team with five points, while Kuznetsov, Orlov and Samsonov have all been key contributors for Washington thus far.

–Field Level Media