It’s official: NHL players will be lacing ’em up for their respective nations for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Meanwhile, the league also released new COVID-19 protocols heading into 2021-22.
Here are all the latest news and notes to know heading into the weekend.
- With Brenden Dillon and Zdeno Chara out of the picture, the Capitals blue line will have to fill the void. Andrew Gillis and J.J. Regan take a look at how Washington will protect its net-front. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Speaking of defense, Nick Jensen shined in Da Beauty League over the summer and can continue to grow his game and make a major impact for the Capitals in 2021-22. (Washington Hockey Now)
- From Alex Ovechkin to Lars Eller, several Washington players are closing in on individual milestones. Diane Doyle breaks them down. (NoVa Caps)
- The NHL and NHLPA reached an agreement with the IIHF that will send players to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Sean Leahy has more on the decision and NHLers’ first Olympic games since 2014. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- In addition, the league released new COVID-19 protocols for 2021-22, which includes a “mechanism” for suspending unvaccinated players. Elliotte Friedman shares everything to know about the new regulations. (Sportsnet)
- Right now, it appears Jack Eichel is staying put for now and is reportedly undergoing surgery soon. Here’s why a moratorium on the trade talks may be for the best, especially for the Rangers. (Forever Blueshirts)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- When it comes to Capitals suiting up for the 2022 Olympics, the first players to come to mind are Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov (ROC), Nicklas Backstrom and Carl Hagelin (Sweden), T.J. Oshie and John Carlson (USA), Eller (Denmark) and potentially Vitek Vanecek (Czech Republic). Martin Fehervary was going to play in qualifiers for Slovakia but was injured before the tournament. Evgeny Kuznetsov is still suspended and will miss the 2022 games.
- Per The Athletic’s Michael Russo, masked and vaccinated media members will have locker room access in 2021-22. In regards to vaccinated and unvaccinated players facing different protocols, this is the right move — the virus is still very much real, and the Pfizer vaccine has been FDA-approved and is considered safe.
NHL media that are fully vaccinated and masked will have access to players this season in the locker room, the NHL protocols say
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) September 2, 2021
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