Evgeny Kuznetsov added to NHL's COVID absence list

Evgeny Kuznetsov

Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has been added to the NHL's COVID absence list as released by the league on Tuesday.

Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov did not dress for Monday's game due to disciplinary reasons for being late to a team function. Samsonov was moved to the taxi squad to allow Craig Anderson to back-up Vitek Vanecek on Monday while Kuznetsov was scratched. Now Kuznetsov has been added to the COVID list.

Just how long Kuznetsov will remain on the list is not known because the circumstances of him being added are not public. We don't know if he broke protocol or tested positive. What we do know is that this puts a team already without T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin in a real bind. Related: Alex Ovechkin 'unlikely' to play Wednesday vs. New York

While losing a center for any period of time proved disastrous in the playoffs last year for Washington, general manager Brian MacLellan did add depth at the trade deadline with Michael Raffl. Though Raffl typically plays winger, he is a player the Caps identified as someone who can play center if needed.

Kuznetsov going on the protocol list should also allow the team to make one recall from the taxi squad to replace him for Wednesday's game. It does not address the fact that the team still appears to be short a forward even if you include Kuznetsov's potential replacement.


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