Ready for your first-week-of-August-Dmitry-Orlov-contract-situation update?
Here you go: The Capitals and the 25-year-old defenseman’s representative still are in negotiations. Although that’s not a whole lot different than what was reported a week ago, a source told CSN on Thursday that the Capitals are optimistic that a deal will be reached before training camp begins in late September.
Both the team and Orlov’s agent, Mark Gandler, have declined to divulge any details about the talks.
This much, however, has become clear: with camp more than six weeks away, there’s no real pressure for either side to soften their position on the value and/or length of any potential deal.
The restricted free agent earned $2.25 million in salary last season, while his contract carried a cap hit of $2 million. The team has $3.45 million in cap space available, but not all of that can be allocated to Orlov, even if he ends up taking on a bigger role in 2016-17 as expected. It would also be difficult for the club to justify paying Orlov more than Karl Alzner, who is set to earn $2.8 million in the final year of his deal, when Alzner averaged five more minutes on the ice than Orlov last season.
Orlov appeared in all 82 regular season games last season, skating 16 minutes per and registering eight goals and 21 assists. But the high-risk, high-reward blueliner was benched in Game 1 of the Pittsburgh series for a miscue that led to a goal and was scratched for Game 2.
Orlov is currently in Moscow training with Alex Ovechkin ahead of the World Cup of Hockey, which also begins next month. Orlov, Ovechkin and fellow Washington teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov will represent Russia in the eight-team tournament.