Specifics on the contract negotiations between the Capitals and defenseman Dmitry Orlov have been hard to come by, but a source confirmed to CSN on Thursday that the team and the player’s agent are communicating on a regular basis.
Orlov, a restricted free agent who turned 25 last week, is the only player that's expected to be on the opening night roster who doesn’t have a contract.
Orlov did not file for arbitration, and neither did the Caps—typically a sign that both sides believe that a compromise is within reach. Why an extension hasn’t been hammered out yet, though, remains unclear.
Orlov’s agent, Mark Gandler, declined to comment on the negotiations or a timeline for reaching a deal.
Last season, Orlov’s salary was $2.25 million and his contract carried a cap hit of $2 million. With Karl Alzner entering the final year of a deal that averages $2.8 million annually, it would be difficult for the Capitals to justify paying Orlov, who averaged five fewer minutes per game than Alzner, more than that.
The Caps currently have $3.45 million in cap space available, according to GeneralFanager.com.
Orlov played in all 82 regular season games last season, skating 16 minutes per and registering eight goals and 29 points. However, 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 of the six-game second round matchup.
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