- The Washington Times
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller has left the team in Toronto and returned stateside to attend the birth of his second child, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

This was no surprise for the Capitals, who knew of and supported Eller’s plan to leave the NHL’s bubble in Toronto. Forward Carl Hagelin is also expected to do the same when his wife gives birth in the near future.

But due to COVID-19 protocols, Eller will need to go through a quarantine period again when he reenters Canada, a complicating factor for the Dane’s return to hockey. According to the NHL’s protocols, Eller will be able to rejoin the team once he gets four negative test results for the virus in a four-day period.

“You’re going to have to take a lot of precautions for when you leave,” Eller said at the start of the team’s summer training camp last month. “Depending on how you travel and you travel back and forth and who you’re going to be in contact with and so on. I’ll have to serve some time inside the bubble and test a number of times before I can join my teammates again and play games. We’re working on trying to figure out how we do that the best possible way.”

Eller is sure to miss not only Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, but also the Capitals‘ third and final seeding game Sunday against the Boston Bruins. The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin the following week.

Coach Todd Reirden said during camp that Travis Boyd, who has been serving as the team’s 13th forward much of this year, will replace Eller in the third-line center role while Eller is away from the team.

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