Carl Hagelin on if he thought about opting out with a young family/a baby on the way in Sept:
“For me, I spoke to my wife too and she said as long as you come back when the kid is born, you’re welcome to leave.” https://t.co/DgeI7OI5FM
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) July 14, 2020
Eller and Hagelin Set To Leave
Both decisions are certainly understandable, and it is a situation the NHL has taken into consideration. Under the NHL’s protocol, players are allowed to leave their hub cities and return under specific situations. The birth of a child is one of them. In order to be able to play upon their return, both players will need to quarantine and test negatively for COVID-19 for four straight days.
Eller’s second child is due on August 8th. The Capitals will play their final game of their round-robin tournament on the same day. The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs start three days later. Given the NHL’s requirements for returning, Eller will miss some playoff games.
“You’re going to have to take a lot of precautions for when you leave,” said Eller. “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. That’s what’s going to happen.”
Hagelin’s situation is a little more complicated. His second child is not expected until September. The Stanley Cup Playoffs will be well on their way by then. Depending on the date the child is born, Hagelin could miss some second-round games and possibly even games in the Eastern Conference Finals. That of course, is assuming the Capitals advance out of the first round.
“For me, I spoke to my wife, too, and she said, as long as you come back when the kid is born, you’re welcome to leave,” Hagelin said. “She knows hockey is a big part of my life and it’s a big part of our family’s life, and so we have an opportunity here to win the Stanley Cup and that’s the goal right now.”
Eller and Hagelin are not the only players who are making decisions based on their family’s situations. Former Capitals Karl Alzner and Mike Green chose to opt out of the playoffs entirely. St. Louis Blues‘ forward Ivan Barbashev has a child due in the next few months, but there is no official word on if he will leave the team or stay.