We don’t have many pictures of Dmitry Orlov from this year. This one almost makes up for it. (Photo credit: Eliot J. Schechter)
Dmitry Orlov‘s 2014-15 season stunk — if you can even call it a season. After breaking his wrist playing for the gold medal-winning Russian national team at the 2014 World Championships, Orlov was supposed to be playing by the end of September. Instead, he never played an NHL game this year.
Orlov had numerous complications, with his return constantly getting delayed. He was finally ready to suit up at the end of March, and the Capitals assigned him to Hershey Bears for a conditioning stint. The 23-year-old played three games and rejoined the Caps, but Orlov had fallen in the depth chart by then. Tim Gleason had supplanted him in the lineup, and Nate Schmidt served as Washington’s seventh defensemen. Head coach Barry Trotz showed little interest in dressing someone who had not played in the NHL for a year.
Next season, however, looks to be more promising for Orlov. With Mike Green likely to depart, Orlov could slot into the third pairing alongside fellow RMNB-favorite Schmidt.
“It’s been frustrating that he hasn’t played,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Monday. “We missed a year of development with him. He’s a good young defenseman. We’re counting coming into our lineup next year and having our coaching staff work with him. I think we’ll see major strides.”
I spoke Orlov about his rough season on breakdown day. It turns out it wasn’t that fun for him. His English is good though!
Obviously this season didn’t play out like you wanted it to.
It was a different season for me. Of course, it was a hard season. I practice everyday and think about when it finally will be feeling better and [it became] a long road. I understand that I don’t have a choice. Just keep getting up and keep working and keep believing. My parents, my girlfriend help me a lot to stay in good spirits. Right now, season over. Of course I’m frustrated. I still working in playoffs, in practice, because maybe I will play and I have a chance. But I’m happy I played three games in Hershey. I feel [I] can play and nothing blocking me. My wrist feeling good. I will be ready for next season.
So you don’t feel any lingering effects?
I will be ready. I feel fine. I was ready to play.
Are you concerned it will be hard to hard to adjust to the speed of the NHL, that you’ll be rusty after a year and a half without playing?
We’ll see. [smirks] Of course I will be ready. I don’t have any other choice too. I want to play hockey. I will take a rest now — no skating, nothing, and start my workout in July skating and try to be ready. It’s my life. Of course it may be tough in the exhibition games playing. Coming back, what you do on the ice will be different, but I want to play hockey.
Why did your recovery take so long?
I broke second time my wrist. First time when I break it I have problem. I play for nine years with bad wrist. It happen again and I got infection after. Small things make my wrist stiff. I need to break up scar tissue.
So mobility was the main issue?
Yeah, mobility and it was stiff a little bit and my grip strength [was an issue]. What was problem, no one can explain. Right now, all good. I just want to forget what happened. I just want to forget this season.
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