By Chris Cerullo and Ian Oland
As Capitals’ Training Camp got underway Thursday morning, general manager Brian MacLellan spoke with the media and revealed that the Capitals will be fully vaccinated in two days.
This news comes a week after NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly spoke at the NHL Media Tour in Chicago, revealing that 98 percent of the league’s players will be vaccinated prior to the start of the season. If you do the math that means 10-15 players in the league will be unvaccinated to start the year.
Now, we know that none of those players will be from the Capitals.
Defenseman Dmitry Orlov appeared to be the team’s final straggler revealing in a Russian language podcast in early September that he chose not to be vaccinated before the playoffs last season, but would likely do so before the start of Training Camp.
Thursday, after the first on-ice session of the new year, Orlov confirmed that he had been vaxxed and did so as soon as returned to the United States from his native Russia.
“Yes, I did,” Orlov said during the interview, at times noticeably blushing. “League made some rules. They basically don’t give us option. They give option, but second option, if you’re not vaccinated, you’re basically not going to play all games. You not normal person.”
He added, “I didn’t know what to say… At that time I wasn’t… before the playoffs start. When the news came out about Johnson & Johnson, they kind of stopped give it to people. I kind of was like, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ See what was going on. And after season was over, I go to Russia, I ask doctors if I can get vaccinated in Russia and they say ‘no’ because it’s not working here so it makes no sense for me to get there. When I get here, as soon as I get here I get vaccinated, so it’s not a problem.”
Orlov said the interview translation done by RMNB was “miscommunicated a little bit.”
The NHL and NHLPA finalized those COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 season and within those protocols included a mechanism for teams to suspend unvaccinated players who are “unable to participate in club activities.”
According to CBS Sports, NHL discipline for unvaccinated players also includes:
Get those jabs.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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