Washington Capitals fans will get a taste of what could have been on Wednesday night, when Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom and former Capitals first-rounder Filip Forsberg line up together for Sweden in D.C.
Forsberg told NHL.com’s Katie Brown that playing with his countryman Backstrom was a dream of his when he was drafted by the Capitals back in 2012. Unfortunately for Capitals fans, it didn’t work out that way as Forsberg was dealt to Nashville for Martin Erat in one of the worst trades in recent memory. Forsberg told Brown “it’s pretty cool” to play with Backstrom, even though “a lot has changed since then”.
In other news out of D.C., Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post reports that Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov isn’t sure where he’s going to end up playing next season. Orlov posted 29 points in 82 games last season, posting good possession numbers while averaging just over 16 minutes per game. Coach Barry Trotz said he’s looking for Orlov to play top-four minutes with John Carlson or Matt Niskanen at even strength, and to contribute at both special teams disciplines.
[Related: Capitals’ depth chart at Roster Resource]
The 25-year-old Russian is coming off a two-year contract worth $2.25MM per season, and will likely be looking for a raise on that. Based on the Capitals’ salary cap situation, Khurshudyan estimates the most the Capitals could give Orlov is around $2.6MM. That has lead to Sergei Fedorov, former Capital and GM of the KHL’s CSKA Moscow to contact Orlov’s agent. CSKA owns his KHL rights, and expressed interest in bringing him over to Russia, even if it’s just for one season. Despite the interest from overseas, Orlov says he enjoys playing in the NHL and “would like to stay there, but I don’t know how it’s going to happen. We’ll see.”
In other news from around the hockey world:
- Henrik Zetterberg was forced to pull out of the World Cup of Hockey with a knee injury. The Red Wings tweeted Monday morning that while Zetterberg is expected to be healthy for the season opener, his participation in training camp is still to be determined.
- Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported that Team Canada’s lines have not changed at practice on Monday. Forward Claude Giroux took a maintenance day, so the only rotating lines were Jake Muzzin and Jay Bouwmeester splitting time with Drew Doughty. Also according to Johnston, the power-play units have changed, with Sidney Crosby heading up the first unit with Joe Thornton, Corey Perry, Tyler Seguin, and Brent Burns. Meanwhile, Jonathan Toews, John Tavares, Ryan Getzlaf, Steven Stamkos, and Doughty are manning the second unit.
- In an appearance on TSN 690 in Montreal this morning, Bob McKenzie said he was encouraged by “how ridiculously hard” the Canadians and Americans played in their pair of pre-tournament games. McKenzie said fans can thank John Tortorella’s strategy of wanting to “maul [Canada] a little bit” for that. The veteran broadcaster compared the games to a late-night men’s league, laughing “it’s fun. Just go out there for a little skate… then there’s one guy out there… one guy does something stupid, and then suddenly it’s on. Next thing you know, you’ve got the constabulary being called in.”