Less than four months after his agent requested a trade and said he would not re-sign with the Capitals, defenseman Dmitry Orlov has agreed to a two-year, $4 million contract extension.
Orlov, 22, was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1. He will earn $1.75 million next season and $2.25 million in 2015-16.
In 38 games for the Capitals this season Orlov has three goals and six assists.
With Orlov under contract, the Capitals now have three players who are not under contract for next season – unrestricted free agents Mikhail Grabovski, Jaroslav Halak and Dustin Penner.
Back on Nov. 27, when Orlov was a healthy scratch for the Caps, his agent, Mark Gandler told CSNWashington.com that “there’s no chance in hell Dmitry is going to sign with the Capitals for next season.”
Two nights later Orlov played his first game of the season for the Capitals and, aside from a two-game suspension, has been in the lineup ever since.
No Laich, Grabovski: The Capitals hit the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday without Brooks Laich [groin] and Mikhail Grabovski [left ankle].
That left Adam Oates using left wing Aaron Volpatti on a top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Earlier this week, Volpatti practiced on the top line as a placeholder for Laich, who sat out the second half of the Caps’ back-to-back series against the Penguins on Tuesday night, opting instead to visit with a groin specialist in St. Louis.
Grabovski has missed 15 of the Caps’ last 16 games with a left ankle sprain. He skated on his own before Thursday’s practice but left the ice before his teammates.
Oates went with a second line of Marcus Johansson between Dustin Penner and Troy Brouwer, a third line of Eric Fehr between Jason Chimera and Joel Ward, and a fourth line of Jay Beagle between Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson, with Casey Wellman taking turns with Beagle.
Having lost five of their last six games [1-4-1] the Caps have fallen three points out of a playoff spot with 15 games to play. To reach the 92 points they may need to get into the playoffs the Caps would need to go 10-3-2 down the stretch.
Next up for the Capitals are the Vancouver Canucks, who are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games but will be without gritty forward Ryan Kesler [knee injury].