Connor McMichael was sensational during Team Canada’s silver medal-run during the 2021 World Junior Championship, scoring four goals and tallying eight points in seven games. McMichael had a big role on the team, serving as Canada’s first-line center and an alternate captain. Days after the tournament ended, the Capitals’ top prospect flew across the US/Canada border and arrived in Washington DC. McMichael set up shop in a hotel room on Saturday, January 9, and began quarantining.
McMichael has not been seen on the ice or heard from since beyond a few birthday Instagram Stories. The Capitals named their final roster and taxi squad on Wednesday, January 13. McMichael, who is eligible to play on both, was not included. The 2019 first-round pick also was not loaned back to the OHL’s London Knights, the junior hockey team he could also play for this season.
With the Capitals potentially without Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and Ilya Samsonov for their home opener against Buffalo on Friday, McMichael’s status is even more important. So where is he?
“McMichael is currently quarantining in DC,” a Capitals spokesman said late last week. “Once he is cleared, we will announce where he’ll be.”
I asked why McMichael was serving such a long quarantine despite being tested regularly with Team Canada’s WJC team.
“Every situation is different,” the spokesman replied. “Connor is scheduled to be on the ice in a couple of days for us here at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.”
Further questions about McMichael’s status to the NHL were not answered before publication.
McMichael has currently been in quarantine for 11 days. Some quarantines can last as long as 14 days depending on the circumstances.
Prior to Training Camp, Players and other members of Groups 1 and 2A (see Section E) travelling back to their Club’s home city may be required to serve up to a 14-day self-quarantine if imposed by the local or federal health authorities, regardless of their mode of travel (private or charter travel) and whether or not they travelled from a high-risk environment.
Club Medical staff are responsible for determining what the applicable quarantine is under local and/or federal regulations, and what guidelines anyone subject to such a quarantine shall follow. Individuals travelling to Canada are subject to the 14-day Mandatory Isolation Order (MIO) and related guidelines, which may be modified by any National Interest Exemption (“NIE”) to the extent received. Further guidance can be
There is also an optional “work quarantine” that can be enforced after Day 7.
OPTIONAL “WORK QUARANTINE” POTENTIALLY AFTER DAY 7
Certain jurisdictions have allowed a “work quarantine” where the local or federal authorities have given permission for Players to serve a mandated 14-day quarantine period in a manner that permits Players to attend at the Club facility under restricted conditions during the quarantine itself. In Canada, individuals subject to a “work quarantine” are recipients of a National Interest Exemption, and release from quarantine under the Mandatory Isolation Order is conditional. For example, if a local community requires a 14-day quarantine, the Club could propose to the local health authorities the NHL’s 7-day testing regimen as noted above, followed by 7 days of Players being able to utilize the Club facilities on a restricted basis, in order to complete the jurisdiction’s required 14-day quarantine. To the extent they have not already done so, Clubs should consult with their local health authorities to discuss if accommodations of this nature are acceptable and exercise best efforts to obtain authorization from the authorities to implement a work quarantine. If Clubs utilize this approach, Players who are using the facility and still in the midst of their quarantine shall not interact with any other individuals (Group 1 or 2 individuals) who are not in a similar cohort and shall comply with any other conditions that may be set out by the local authorities
It’s unclear what quarantine protocols apply to the Capitals’ top prospect.
Once McMichael is cleared to return, he could be placed on the team’s roster or the taxi squad. The center could replace one of the team’s three goaltenders (Craig Anderson, Pheonix Copley, or Zach Furcale) on the overflow roster with Hershey Bears’ training camp beginning soon. The Capitals only have two forwards on its taxi squad currently: Daniel Carr and Brian Pinho.
The Capitals' Taxi Squad (as of Jan. 13):
F Daniel Carr
F Brian Pinho
D Martin Fehervary
G Pheonix Copley
G Zach Fucale
Goaltender Craig Anderson was signed and placed on waivers today with the expectation that he will join the taxi squad if he clears.https://t.co/3ffesohtUu
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 13, 2021
Before training camp, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said he was open to McMichael being on the team’s taxi squad this season.
“Obviously you don’t want young guys not playing and sitting on a taxi squad the whole year if there’s availability for them to play somewhere else,” MacLellan said. “I think it would hurt their development. And then also, if there’s not an ability to play it might be beneficial for them to be on the taxi squad. I think we’re going to balance development, what the coaches feel we need roster wise, and also, you can change your taxi squad as you go. You can take guys in and out. There’s flexibility there that we might take advantage of too. I think it’s going to be based on what our coaches think we need and development of players.”
McMichael, who has one final season of eligibility remaining in the OHL, can also be sent back to the London Knights. OHL training camps, which were originally set to open on Saturday, January 23,, have been pushed back indefinitely.
January 21 update – 10:45 AM: The Capitals have added McMichael to their taxi squad.
January 21 update – 12:50 PM: McMichael said in an interview that his quarantine lasted only seven days. He began training by himself at MedStar Capitals Iceplex after that.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.