Boston Bruins superstar forward David Pastrnak finally met with the media via Zoom Tuesday and did his best to clear the air regarding his lengthy absence during Phase 3 and training camp. Despite breaking the 14-day international quarantine on July 11 and 13 that was already keeping him out for the first two practices (July 13-14) of training camp and Phase 3, Boston Bruins forward Pastrnak doesn’t believe he did anything wrong since he hasn’t tested positive for COVID19.
“First off, I was never sick, so I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Pastrnak said a day after returning to the ice for just his second practice of training camp.
After missing those first two practices, Pastrnak was on the ice July 15 but his Zoom media session after practice that day was canceled amidst social media photos of him and fellow Bruins forward Ondrej Kase out and about on July 11 surfaced. There were also photos of Pastrnak practicing with local hockey players at a rink in Malden, MA on July 13 while his teammates were going through their first day of camp at Warrior Arena.
On July 16, the team announced that Pastrnak was again ‘unfit to play’ and speculation that he had tested positive for COVID19 ran rampant. That prompted his agent J.P. Barry to make a statement, via The Athletic, that his client was back in quarantine because he had come into contact with someone that tested positive for COVID19 but Pastrnak thankfully had tested negative. While answering another question Tuesday, Pastrnak expressed how frustrating it was for him to be back in quarantine and pulled a bit of a 180 on his earlier claim that he had done nothing wrong.
“So, obviously it’s a tough bounce there, and unfortunately after what happened, I had to miss some time. The protocol is to stay in quarantine, so unfortunately I had to be at home for a while, it’s nothing I can control. Obviously, I take full responsibility for my actions, and I know I’m glad I’m back. I feel good out there. 28 days in quarantine, the toughest part was that I was healthy the whole quarantine, but at the same time, I still couldn’t do anything. … It was a really long month.”
Pastrnak led the Bruins in scoring this season with 48 goals and was tied with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin for the league lead as they both won the Rocket Richard Trophy.
There is still no word on the status of Kase and when he might return. Prior to Pastrnak speaking, along with forward Charlie Coyle, Tuesday, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy held his daily Zoom media session and confirmed that Kase was still back in Boston. Cassidy also said that forward Nick Ritchie would be unavailable for practice again later in the afternoon. Cassidy also said that captain Zdeno Chara was set to practice again Tuesday.