Washington Capitals center Lars Eller told reporters in a Zoom meeting Tuesday that his pregnant wife Julie is expecting their second child, a boy, on August 8. Eller is already the father of a girl, Sophia.
Eller said he had to carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding to participate in the 2020 playoffs. The Danish forward had the opportunity to opt-out until Monday at 5 PM.
“For me personally, we’re going to have a new addition to our family in a couple weeks,” Eller said. “I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen. But at the same time, I want to be with my team. [I’m] also committed to that. I want to win another Cup. We’re working on the necessary arrangements so I can be there for the birth and come back to the bubble after that.”
By the time the August 8 due date rolls around, the Capitals will be in Toronto and determining their seeding in the playoffs. It’s the same day the Capitals play their third and final game of the round-robin against the Boston Bruins.
Eller was asked what he’s going to have to do to re-join the team.
“You’re going to have to take a lot of precautions for when you leave,” Eller said. “Depending on how you travel and how you travel back and forth and who you’re in contact with and so on, I’ll have to serve some time inside the bubble and test a number of times before I can join my teammates again and play games. We’re working on trying to figure out how we do that the best possible way, but that’s what’s going to happen.”
Eller, who skated with Carl Hagelin and Brian Pinho Wednesday, pointed out how different playing in a locked-down practice facility and wearing protective equipment around his teammates was.
“It’s been weird. I think it was most weird in the beginning coming back and doing tests and seeing everybody wear masks,” Eller said. “Now it’s become normal every day. You notice someone without a mask now. That’s the weird thing, right? That’s where we are now.
“I think this phase presents the biggest risk in terms of — we’re in a bubble in this rink we can control who comes in and out where’s what — but once everybody goes home you’re relying on individuals to be smart and take precautions,” he added. “You’re relying on the people you’re hanging out with to do the same things. There’s no doubt in my mind this is the riskiness part and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s going to be more positive tests around the league. Even here. I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Screenshot courtesy of the @Capitals
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