Alex Ovechkin is due to missing the NHL Football Championship All-Star weekend in Las Vegas after the Washington Capitals forward had to be taken into COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday due to a positive test result.
He won’t be available for Wednesday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers and won’t participate in the NHL’s All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. Ovechkin’s absence would mean the audience will not get to see him match up against two of the other elite hockey stars, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
D.C. forward Tom Wilson, who scored 13 goals and 18 assists this season, will replace Ovechkin at the All-Star Game in Las Vegas and Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux will be the Metropolitan Division captain, sources told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.
A big miss
Ovechkin missed four games last season on injury-hit knee surgery, including four starts in the playoffs. For Ovechkin, a 12-time All-Star, it would have been the eighth NHL All-Star Game assignment. He was also chosen as captain of the Metropolitan team by fans for the All-Star Game but will miss this too.
“It doesn’t matter if you are voted by the fans or the league selects you. It’s a privilege,” Ovechkin said when he was announced as captain. “It’s representing your team, yourself and, obviously, have fun with the best players out there on the ice. It’s a pretty cool moment.”
Unfortunately, now Ovechkin had to miss the chance to shine his way through his privilege. Ovechkin is now replaced by Wilson.
“And, it’s kind of like, ‘Thank you’, I guess,” said Wilson about the big opportunity when he was on his way to the game.
“I’m sure he’s extremely disappointed,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said in a press conference. “He’s disappointed, first and foremost that he’s not in the game tonight, and that he’s not playing.”
“I’ve never seen a guy that does everything possible to get into a game and hates coming out of games and hates not being able to contribute and help his team win. For that first and foremost, he’s probably upset,” added the Capitals coach.
“The All-Star Game, it’s a nice nod, but he (Ovechkin)’s certainly one of those big figures that go to the All-Star Game. Well deserved this year on the nod. I’m sure he’s upset.”
Not only that Ovechkin has to miss the game because of the disease, but he also needs to undergo quarantine for five days and other extended treatment before being able to come back to the game.
The protocol includes a mandatory negative result PCR test or one that has a CT value of less than 30. Alternatively, he should pass two negative molecular point of care tests collected less than two hours apart. Then, he will need full clearance from the team’s physician.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is unavailable tonight versus the Edmonton Oilers due to the NHL COVID-19 protocol. Based on a positive test result, Ovechkin will not participate in the 2022 NHL All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) February 2, 2022
In addition, the NHL still runs full COVID protocol which goes into effect after Wednesday night’s games. It means that all players with asymptomatic or with symptomatic fully vaccinated players will still need to undergo testing. Players who fail to follow protocol will be forced absent from the team before or after the all-star break immediately.