Capitals' Eller to leave Phase 4 bubble for birth of child
Andy Marlin / National Hockey League / Getty

Washington Capitals forward Lars Eller expects to leave the Toronto bubble during Phase 4 of the NHL's return-to-play plan to attend the birth of his child.

The qualifying round of the 24-team playoff (Phase 4) begins Aug. 1, and Eller and his wife are expecting the birth of their second child on Aug. 8. The 31-year-old pivot said he thought about opting out of the league's return altogether.

"A lot of thoughts going into the decision," Eller said Tuesday, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "Weighing the pros and cons. We're going to have a new addition to our family in a couple of weeks. But at the same time, I want to be with my team and win another Cup.

"We're working on making the necessary arrangements so I can be there for the birth and then come back to the bubble after that."

Under the Phase 4 agreement between the NHL and NHLPA, players are permitted to leave the bubble for medical or personal reasons if authorized by their club's general manager.

However, those who leave the bubble must return a minimum of four consecutive negative test results over a four-day period. The player will be required to quarantine in their hotel room until such testing requirements are fulfilled.

Eller is confident an appropriate plan will be put in place for him to complete the trip safely.

"You're going to have to take a lot of precautions when you leave," Eller said. "Depending on how you're going to travel and who you travel with ... I'll have to serve some time inside the bubble and test a number of times before I could rejoin my team and play games. We're working on trying to figure out how to do this in the best possible way. But that's what's going to happen."

The Capitals are slated to compete against the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Philadelphia Flyers in a round-robin tournament to establish the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference.

Capitals' Eller to leave Phase 4 bubble for birth of child
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