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Washington Capitals fined $100K by NHL for players breaking COVID protocols, league says

The National Hockey League announced Wednesday that it has fined the Washington Capitals $100,000 for player alleged violations of the league’s COVID‑19 protocols.
Credit: AP
Washington Capitals' T.J. Oshie (77) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

WASHINGTON — The National Hockey League announced Wednesday that it has fined the Washington Capitals $100,000 for player violations of the league’s COVID‑19 protocols which involved social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings, according to a statement from the NHL.

Alex Ovechkin and three other Washington Capitals players were added to the NHL's COVID-19 list Wednesday.

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 center Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and top goalie Ilya Samsonov. 

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. 

Credit: AP
FILE - This is a March 12, 2020, file photo showing Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey club in Washington. Get used to the concept of pods and pucks if the NHL is going to have any chance of completing its season, with the most likely scenarios calling for games in empty, air-conditioned arenas during the dog days of summer. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

The news of the fine for Washington comes as the NHL has had to postponed games within the league due to the spread of COVID-19.

The NHL has postponed games for the Carolina Hurricanes through “at least” Saturday after five Hurricanes players have been placed on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list.

The league announced the postponements Wednesday, a day before the Hurricanes were set to host the Florida Panthers in their home opener. The teams were scheduled to play again Saturday afternoon.

The Capitals have not had a game postponed yet this season.

The Washington Capitals currently 2-0-2 overall on the season, with its last two games coming as losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Capitals share an arena in downtown Washington with the NBA’s Wizards and both teams are owned by Ted Leonsis.

The Wizards were cleared to return to practice Wednesday night after essentially being shut down because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Their past five games have been postponed during a stretch in which six Wizards players tested positive for the illness caused by the coronavirus and three others were sidelined after contact tracing determined they might have been exposed.

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