Two days after forward Marty Erat confirmed he’s asked the Capitals to trade him, the agent for defenseman Dmitry Orlov said he has asked general manager George McPhee to trade the 22-year-old blue liner.
“Obviously, what Dmitry would like is to be traded,” agent Mark Gandler told CSNWashington.com Wednesday, “because he has no future in Washington whatsoever, zero chance for him.
“I think his value as a player is diminishing with every day and the team is losing valuable time and also ruining his career.”
Taken by the Capitals in the second round of the 2009 NHL draft, Orlov played 60 games under Dale Hunter two seasons ago and played five more games under Adam Oates last season.
This year, he has been recalled from the Hershey Bears five times but has yet to play a game for the Capitals. In 10 games for the Hershey Bears Orlov is fourth on the team in scoring with three goals and six assists for nine points.
Gandler and McPhee confirmed that Orlov, who is in the final year of his three-year entry-level contract, has a clause in it that states he has the right to play in the Kontinental Hockey League if he is on the Capitals’ roster fewer than 30 days before Jan. 1. Orlov has spent 19 days on the Caps’ roster, all of them as a practice player.
“It’s getting for him increasingly difficult to handle this, emotionally and also physically,” Gandler said. “He’s coming into Washington knowing he’s not going to get into the game no matter what. God forbid, this team would have to go down with the flu for Dmitry to get in – everyone.
“He has to train hard, and then he has to get in the car and drive hours back to Hershey and work hard there and keep his head in the game and play hard and play well. That is very, very difficult to do for no reason whatsoever.
“If he’s not an NHL player there’s no reason to marinate him in the minors,” Gandler continued. “Let him go. The easier solution, and it’s a great solution for everybody, is for him to be traded. I’ve been in this business 25 years. I don’t think there is a problem finding a team that would like him.”
McPhee told CSNWashington.com part of the reason the Capitals have recalled Orlov so often is because they want him to be ready for when he is placed in the lineup.
“We really like the way he’s playing and we’re looking forward to that day he goes in,” McPhee said.
McPhee also noted that when left-handed shooting defenseman John Erskine was sidelined with an injury on Oct 11, the Capitals would have recalled Orlov if he did not have pink eye. Instead, the Cps recalled rookie Nate Schmidt and he’s played every game since.
“Who do you pull out?” McPhee said. “[Alex] Urbom’s playing well; Schmidt’s playing well and [Karl] Alzner is playing well. If it was the other way around and Orly was playing well, it wouldn’t be fair to pull him out just to get somebody else a couple games. That’s the way it is right now. Things can change overnight. We don’t know Well see.”
Gandler said he can’t see things changing as long as Oates is coach of the Capitals.
“Let’s not beat around the bush,” Gandler said. “Adam does not like Dmitry’s game, and Dmitry’s game is not going to change. They know exactly what he brings. There is no intention on Adam’s part to use him.”
McPhee acknowledged there have been many times during his 15 years as general manager of the Capitals than he and coaches have disagreed on the use of players.
“It [happens] from time to time,” he said. “We’ve had those situations before. In retrospect, sometimes the coach was right; sometimes I was right. There are a couple of those situations every year. It’s a long year.”
McPhee declined to comment directly on Gandler’s trade demand, saying, “Our objective is to keep developing him and hope that when he gets in there he plays the way he can play.”
As for Gandler, he made it clear that Orlov’s hockey future does not lie in Washington.
“The only humane thing to do – and at the same time the only right thing to do for your own business – is to trade the guy. If they played him for five games his value would skyrocket, then get rid of him.
“Seeing the situation, George needs to cut his losses and get the best deal he can. As you can imagine, there’s no chance in hell Dmitry is going to sign with the Capitals for next season.”
McPhee said he understands Orlov’s frustration and is not looking ahead to renegotiations.
“You can’t stop people from being young,” he said. “Everybody wants to play. He’s not happy about not playing and we understand that. You have to earn your way in and when you get in you have to play well enough to stay in. I’m not worried about next summer right now. I’m worried about the next game.”