By Lewis Gould
Alex Ovechkin and three other Caps players were added to the NHL’s COVID-19 list and the team was fined $100,000 by the league for violating coronavirus protocols.
In addition to three-time MVP Ovechkin — one of just eight players in NHL history with more than 700 goals — the Capitals joining the COVID-19 list were centre Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenceman Dmitry Orlov and top goalie Ilya Samsonov.
Five players from the Carolina Hurricanes also are on the list and that team’s games were called off by the league through “at least” Saturday.
The postponements were announced a day before the Hurricanes were set to host the Florida Panthers in their home opener. The teams were scheduled to play again Saturday.
The NHL said the Hurricanes’ training facilities are closed and will stay that way “until further notice.” The league is reviewing and revising Carolina’s schedule.
The Capitals were punished by the league for “social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings.”
This is the first instance this season of Capitals players appearing on the NHL’s COVID-19 list, which could include those who test positive, have a potential exposure or face quarantine requirements.
Being on that list would make Ovechkin and the others unavailable for practice, but it is possible that they could be allowed back with the team in time to play in Washington’s next game, which is Friday against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
A Capitals spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.
Washington has played four games so far, going 2-0-2.