Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

NHL fines Washington Capitals $100K for COVID-19 violations

The Washington Capitals are having a rough second week of the 2020-21 NHL regular season. 

The Capitals fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday for the second consecutive game and then learned on Wednesday that they've been fined $100,000 by the NHL for player violations of the league's COVID-19 protocols. 

Per the NHL's official statement, the infractions "involved social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings." 

As ESPN's Emily Kaplan noted earlier this month, players are to practice social distancing and also wear masks or similar face coverings when interacting outside of the team's facility. The league offered no specifics for what triggered this punishment. 

Earlier in the day, the NHL announced that the Carolina Hurricanes will be paused through at least Jan. 23 because of COVID-19 issues impacting five of their players. The Dallas Stars had the start of their campaign delayed to Jan. 22 because of a virus outbreak within their team.

Meanwhile, the NBA has postponed a total of 16 games due to coronavirus-related setbacks since the start of its season on Dec. 22. NHL officials are hoping fines and other punishments will encourage all team personnel to be on their best behavior as it pertains to avoiding unintentional virus transmissions. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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