Caps forward Quintin Laing has been diagnosed with H1N1 (more commonly known as swine flu). He left Kettler Capitals Iceplex yesterday before the team’s morning skate.
Laing was tested for seasonal flu and it was negative, but since he has three of the four symptoms associated with H1N1 the doctor was able to diagnose him with the virus. He wasn’t officially tested for swine flu because the test is cost prohibitive, and a team official said this is common practice.
Laing has been quarantined from the team. Tyler Sloan is Laing’s roommate on the road. He said he talked to Laing’s wife, Aimee, on the phone and Laing is doing OK and staying at his local residence, but they are keeping him away from his two young children to be safe.
Sloan said he feels fine and has had no symptoms, but he is taking flu medication as a precaution. Offical team swine flu spokesman Nate Ewell said no one else on the team is showing any symptoms.
No official word on a timeline for Laing’s return, but Sloan said he was told Quintin will be away from the team for at least five days.
The rest of the team had a meeting this morning with head trainer Greg Smith, and he went over all the typical precautions they need to take. The Caps have more hand sanitizer bottles around, but otherwise it is mostly common sense stuff (wash your hands, try to limit handshakes, etc.).
This is another tough break for Laing, who played only one game for the Caps last season because of a torn spleen. This is the first time in his professional career he had made an NHL team out of training camp.
In other injury news, Tomas Fleischmann will be flying with the Caps to Atlanta and Bruce Boudreau said he could be in the lineup. Fleischmann would need to be activated, and the Caps have to make at least one more move to make that possible (with Alexandre Giroux in Hershey being the first one).
Boyd Gordon will not be going on the trip and will miss his sixth game with a lingering back injury. Eric Fehr is questionable — Boudreau said he is still sore. It looked like he was wearing extra protection for his ribs at practice today, but I’m not sure and the swine flu stuff had me busy when he came off the ice.