After avoiding COVID-19 for the first half of the 2021-22 campaign, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has entered the league’s protocol. He will not play against the Oilers on Wednesday and, based on a positive test, will miss the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas.
This is the third straight time that Ovechkin will miss out on the All-Star festivities. The last time he participated was back in 2018, when he won the Hardest Shot competition and also wore the “C” for the Metropolitan Division. As for the Capitals representatives, Evgeny Kuznetsov appears to be the only player representing Washington right now. The Metro will also get a new captain.
Ovechkin was named the captain after winning 30.4 percent of the fan vote.
“It’s privilege. It doesn’t matter if you voted by fan or the league select you, it’s privilege, it’s representing your team, yourself, and obviously, have fun with the best players out there on the ice,” Ovechkin said after his selection. “It’s pretty cool moment.”
READ MORE ON WHN: Capitals Bring Up Copley From Taxi Squad After Vanecek Injury
Through 46 games this season, the 36-year-old leads Washington with 29 goals and 58 points. He is among the league leaders in scoring and is also continuing to climb the NHL’s all-time goals list. He sits seven goals behind Jaromir Jagr for the third-most in NHL history.
Ovechkin skated on Tuesday against Pittsburgh, leading all forwards in ice time (21:31 minutes) and managing five shots on goal. He joins Michal Kempny as the only other Capitals player currently on COVID-19 protocol.
The NHL and NHLPA announced changes to the protocol coming for each team following their last game before the NHL All-Star Break, which includes the end of daily testing for asymptomatic players. Those changes will go into effect after Wednesday’s game against Edmonton. Per the guidelines, a player must isolate for five days following a positive test result.
Ovechkin said on Jan. 14 that his priority was to remain healthy, but that he had intended to go to the All-Star Game.