Dmitry Orlov recently did a Russian language interview with Slippery Ice. One of the most interesting takeaways from the sitdown was Orlov explaining how he first met Alex Ovechkin.
The two Russians have played 10 seasons together in Washington, but they first met in 2011 when Orlov was a member of the Hershey Bears.
Orlov’s quotes were transcribed by Sports.RU and translated by Google Translate.
The story’s funny enough. The (KHL) season at Metallurg had just ended – we didn’t make the playoffs, and I left for Hershey after the season, (I was) in the AHL for a couple of months. The contract with Washington began only the next year.
I arrive – they meet me, some kind of game is taking place.
A couple of days later, [Hershey] goes on the road, and they say to me: ‘Go to Washington, practice with the Capitals for now.’ I arrive – training the next day in the morning, somewhere at 10:30 pm I go to bed and I get a call.
Although I had just arrived in America, only an agent made a phone for me, I don’t know anyone yet – who can call my phone already? And I’m thinking: ‘Should I take this or not?’
‘Old friend. How are you? This is Sasha Ovechkin! We just flew in. Let’s go out for a drink after practice or get a meal in a restaurant.’
‘Yes, I have training tomorrow.’
Then Sasha Semin picked up the phone and asked: ‘Are you sleeping? Okay, let’s go to bed, see you tomorrow.’
And this is the first phone conversation I had. The next day we went to dinner, there was a big table, their friends, I sat with my mouth open.
First time in America, and you’ve never seen them and they’re stars. And this league for me was non-existent – I don’t know what it is, where I ended up. I sat, I remember, sheepishly, watching everyone.
Fast forward a decade-plus later, Orlov and Ovechkin are close friends and won a Stanley Cup together in 2018. Ovechkin attended Orly’s 31st birthday party in Russia. Meanwhile, Orlov played in Alex Semin’s retirement game with Ovechkin earlier in the summer.
For a small town kid from Metallurg, Orlov’s accomplished a lot in the best league in the world. And he’s done so with one of the greatest players of all time.
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