Today, the NHL announced that they have fined the Washington Capitals $100,000 for breach of COVID protocols.
Although the details on the violation are still somewhat vague, the Caps had “social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings.”
It is still unclear now whether (or how many) Caps players will miss games. As noted by Elliotte Friedman, the Caps COVID-related absences list had “TBA” listed next to it.
In addition, on NHL's COVID-related absence list: WASH has a "TBA" next to it. NYI's Josh Bailey added today.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 20, 2021
All of this comes just days after Capitals forward T.J. Oshie was involved in an NHL-wide PSA to encourage mask-wearing.
UPDATE I: According to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, several of the Caps top Russian players are on the “COVID Protocol Related Absences” list, including Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Alex Ovechkin, and Ilya Samsonov.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Alex Ovechkin (!), Ilya Samsonov of @Capitals are all on the NHL "COVID Protocol Related Absences" list. Wow.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) January 21, 2021
Again, it is unclear exactly how many games that the four players could miss at this time.
Update II: The Washington Capitals and captain Alex Ovechkin just released a statement on the incident:
The statement does build on existing reporting. Mainly, it appears that Ovechkin, Orlov, Kuznetsov, and Samsonov were all outside of team approved areas at some point (presumably without masks). At this point, however, we do not know if any Caps players have tested positive for COVID, nor how long they may be out for.
This is a fast-developing story, so stay with Japers Rink for all upcoming developments.