Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin will not participate in the NHL All-Star Game in Las Vegas this weekend after entering the league's COVID-19 protocol Wednesday following a positive test result.
Ovechkin was also ruled out of the Capitals' game against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
Ovechkin, 36, had been voted in as captain of the Metropolitan Division team for Saturday's All-Star Game (3 p.m. ET, ABC) and was expected to take part in the hardest shot competition at Friday night's NHL All-Star Skills event (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), having won the event for the first time in 2018.
"I'm sure he's extremely disappointed,'' Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. "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. The All-Star Game, it's a nice nod, but he's certainly one of those big figures that goes to the All-Star Game. It was well-deserved this year, the nod and I'm sure that he's upset with that, too.''
Ovechkin will be replaced on the Metropolitan Division roster by his teammate, forward Tom Wilson, who'll be in his first All-Star Game. He has 13 goals and 18 assists this season.
"I called [Ovechkin] on the way here,'' Wilson said. "And, it's kind of like, 'Thank you, I guess.'"
This would have been the eighth NHL All-Star Game appearance for Ovechkin, a 12-time All-Star selection.
"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."
Per NHL COVID protocols, Ovechkin must remain in isolation for five days. After that, he can exit the protocol after a negative PCR test or one that has a CT value of less than 30, or with two negative molecular point of care tests collected less than two hours apart. Plus, he'll need clearance from the team physician.
The NHL's revised COVID protocols go into effect after Wednesday night's games, meaning that all players still needed to be tested Wednesday, including asymptomatic fully vaccinated players.
Players who are named to the NHL All-Star Game but do not participate must miss either their team's game directly before or after the All-Star Break. Ovechkin's absence against Edmonton satisfies that requirement.
The Capitals winger played 21:31 and was held scoreless in the team's victory at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. He has 29 goals and 29 assists in 46 games this season and is considered a contender for NHL MVP honors.