As you all have probably heard, Dmitry Orlov signed a shiny new deal with the Caps today, extending his tenure in Washington by six years. We here at FiCP couldn’t be happier but rumblings around the Kettler Capital’s rink today were a mixed bag of emotions. Some people, like us, were extremely happy the Caps signed this dynamic D–man, while others were a bit more skeptical.-
The doubts that arose were not so much if he is skilled enough to continue with the Caps but more so the length of the contract. The doubts are not unfounded though; A lot can change for a player in six years and being so young, Dima definitely has a little growing to do. The same people were cautiously optimistic about TJ Oshie’s recent eight-year deal with the team, wondering if his point production and contributions would be that of last year for the following eight.
Only time will tell what becomes of the two…
The Details of the Deal:
Six Years: 30.6 Million
Average per year: 5.1 Million
Here are some of our favorite photos of Dima from over the years:
At 6’3″ ,200 pounds, and born in Magnitogorsk Russia, Ilya Samsonov came to Caps Development Camp with brand new white goalie pads. By the end of camp those pads had marks on them from pucks upon pucks being shot at the 19-year-old goaltender.
Drafted last year in the first round, Samsonov still has two years left with the KHL team Mettalura Magnitogorsk, the reining Gargarin cup champions (our Stanley Cup equivalent). All media and fans were eager to see Samsonov’s work.. Impressive indeed!
Ilya working with goalie coach Mitch Korn with Sergey Koncharv (head of Caps PR) translate for Samsonov, was truly entertaining to watch. We saw all of Coach Korn’s different ways to train. such as the goalie holding a medicine ball without their stick and making a save by dropping to their knees to strengthen their core. This was difficult for Samsonov to comprehend due to his language barrier; however, once Sergey translated, Samsonov started getting quicker and knowing what to do simply from Coach Korn’s hand movements.
As Caps Dev Camp went on, we started noticing Samsonov is very athletic and covers a large part of the net. With coaching from the likes of Mitch Korn and Olie Kolzig; (who was watching from the sidelines all week), Samsonov has the ability to take his game much further for the future. Keep your eyes on this one Caps fans!
Samsonov already has a great support system here in DC with all the Russian players. We’re sure they can help him learn the NHL-style of playing hockey and transition into living in the USA. Ilya is already getting a heads up on the English language as he recently purchased an Apple TV to learn how to speak English, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan (Washington Post, 7/1/16)Washington Post
Samsonov is locked into playing for Russia until 2018, but the future sure looks bright for this young goaltender and for Caps fans…Maybe another Vezina winner in the system!?!
Season Ticket Holders were treated to a rare private session with three of the Washington Capitals four Russian players in honor of Russian Heritage Night at the Verizon Center Tuesday night. The boys were in great moods coming off a night in which Alex Ovechkin, on an assist from Evgeny Kuznetsov, scored the game winning goal in overtime. Jovial doesn’t even come close to explaining Kuzy’s mood!!
They talked about the difference in playing in the NHL and the KHL–mostly the size of the ice. Kuzy said one difference is how loud Verizon Center gets. In Russia the rink usually holds about 7,000 people compared to the 18,000 in DC and he said it is so much louder here. And they love it. He said, “we feel the fans, how they are feeling” when they are playing. They draw energy from the crowd – so keep being loud friends!!
They all spoke about the difficulty in coming to America and learning the language. Dmitry said he knew no English when he came and ultimately hired a tutor to help him learn. Stan, who came to the US when he was 16, had a much harder time, in part because he was so young. When asked if the non-Russian speaking players are learning Russian or if they are learning Swedish, Kuzy giggled and said “only the swear words. We can’t say in locker room because they all know”
They also agreed that one of the hardest things about living here is being away from their family and friends. Orlov said he typically goes home for a couple months during the summer just to be with his family and see friends. Kuzy spoke about his mother and father and how difficult it is for them to change their routines by living in the DC area. That said, he talked lovingly about his mother’s cooking and that when she is here the day starts with a big breakfast, then a lunch, then another lunch…someone loves his mother’s cooking!!
There were more personal reveals too. Asked what their favorite thing to eat at home after being in America was, Kuzy’s first word was “vodka.” Then he explained what a great cook his wife was–grinned that grin we are all used to by now and said again: “vodka.”
Dima and Evgeny told the crowd that one of their favorite memories was of the Buffalo and the World Juniors Game when they beat Canada in the final. Stan said his best memories are of leading the Saint John Sea Dogs to capture the Memorial Cup in the 2010-11 season.
And then there was Canada. As Stan tells of Kuzy calling a local restaurant to make reservations for five at 7 pm. The person on the other end of the line said it was not possible–too late to do on a Saturday night. So Kuzy asked if it would make a difference if one of the five was Alexander Ovechkin. The reply? “Five with Ovechkin available any time!” There IS power in the Ovi name!!
It was a great 30 minutes with some of the most talented players in the league. All of them, for their accomplishments, were pretty humble and completely hysterical. One can only imagine what happened when they were in Los Angeles…but apparently no one is talking!!
Thanks to the Caps and our Russian boys for a great evening.
The Russian Troyka: Ovechkin, Orlov, & Kuznetsov. Who scores first and who has the most points by the end of the night??
Game time is 7 pm From Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Braden Holtby is at one end; Jonathan Bernier at the other. Bernier is hoping to get his first point in the win column tonight. He is in for Leaf’s number one goalie James Reimer who is out with a lower-body injury.
The Leafs will need to defend against their old nemesis Alexander Ovechkin and the new brut force the Caps have unleashed in two other Russians: Evegeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. In the meantime, the lower two lines are showing that they too pose a threat to opposing teams. Keep a watch on these guys.
Who to Watch:
Joffrey Lupul who has registered 22 points in 20 games against the Caps.
Can Dmitry Orlov extend his scoring streak?
Can the Caps make it five in a row and take their first win for this road series?
Justin Williams: Two points to go to reach 600 career NHL points
Karl Alzner is two games away from 400 consecutive games.