Now the Caps and Ovechkin have released statements that should clear everything up.
From the Caps:
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals and captain Alex Ovechkin have issued the below statements following the NHL’s Jan. 20 announcement:
Statement from the Washington Capitals:
Our training staff has worked extremely hard to create a safe environment for our players and staff to be able to compete this season. 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.
Statement from Alex Ovechkin:
I regret my choice to spend time together with my teammates in our hotel room and away from the locker room areas. I will learn from this experience.
Yeah, that didn’t clear things up at all.
In the NHL’s statement, they said the fine was for “social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings.”
The Caps and Ovechkin both say this violation happened in a hotel room, but it does not specify which players were present (though we can assume the four Caps Russians were). It’s unclear if those players were alone in the room — i.e. apart from any non-players. It’s also unclear how a four-person unmasked hangout in a hotel room could have reached the attention of the NHL’s top brass.
But there is disappointment and regret, and I suppose that’s all we’ll get for now.
For the record, if safety were actually the first priority of this team or this league, they would not be playing right now. Four-thousand, four-hundred and nine people died of COVID today.
Screenshot courtesy of HNIC
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