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Orlov On Bruins Future: ‘Don’t Know How It’s Going To Be’



Boston Bruins

BRIGHTON, MA – Dmitry Orlov said he’d often talk with his family about how much he liked Boston when he would pay a visit as the road team during his NHL career with the Washington Capitals, so it was almost meant for him to be a member of the Boston Bruins at some point.

“It’s been nice. I wish it was a little bit warmer weather, but it’s nice. When he played here [when I was with the Capitals] I would always go for a walk, and I always liked it here. I would always go down by the water,” said Orlov. “It was funny, I remember telling my wife that if I ever played here that [Boston] was a nice city.

“Then I got traded a couple of years later. So it’s been a great city, great fans, great team and great organization. It just sucks that we’re here talking about [the playoff loss].”

The question now becomes if Orlov will continue with the Bruins for any extent of time beyond a few months after the trade deadline as he approached unrestricted free agency this summer.

The 31-year-old Orlov quickly became a fan favorite in Boston for his offensive production from the back end and he led all B’s with eight assists in the first-round playoff series against Florida when it was all over.

The veteran Russian D-man said he was thankful for his teammates welcoming him into the Boston fold, and that helped him enjoy his time in Black and Gold for however long it ends up being.

“I’m thankful for the teammates in Boston, how they welcomed us. We all want to still play right now, and it’s hard to understand how we’re here right now. It’s hard to see when men cry. It’s hard to understand what’s going on. It’s a lot of things I could probably say for another ten minutes and say what I feel. For this whole organization, it’s tough,” said Orlov. “The team is still good. I think we or they — I don’t know how it’s going to be, how my future is going to be. I think this team is going to be good for sure. I think it’s my opinion because they have a lot of the right people here. It’s nice to see.”

Orlov also came close to being the hero when his shot hit the bottom front of the crossbar in overtime of Game 7, but it wasn’t a bounce that was meant to go for the B’s in the eventual loss to the Panthers. Orlov finished with four goals and 17 points in 23 games along with a plus-10 rating, and at times was more of a creative, offensive rover than he was expected to be after arriving in Boston.

In all he finished with seven goals and a career-high 36 points between the B’s and Capitals this past season, and figures to be in line for a pretty good contract as an established top-4 defenseman. That may eventually price him out of the picture in Boston where the Bruins already have Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm making big money, and Connor Clifton also a UFA that they need to make a decision on.

For his part, Orlov hadn’t made any decisions on next season, and it sounded like he’d be more than happy to come back to Boston if it ended up working out contractually.

“I don’t know. Right now, it’s dark. It will be my last contract and I’m going to be 32 [years old] so we’ll see,” when Orlov was asked what’s going to factor in his future. “It was great from the start [in Boston]. I said once in one interview when I got here, but I just enjoy hockey.

“I’ve been eleven years in this league, and I played in Russia as a grown-up and as a kid too. You still enjoy hockey. It’s important. It doesn’t matter what age. You still want to feel like a kid. You have to have that feeling in your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re twenty or forty years old. It’s important — I enjoyed this time [with the Bruins].”

Interestingly, Orlov also seemed amused by the idea of returning to the Washington team where he played the first 686 games of his NHL career. He also didn’t rule it out if the Capitals wanted him back, though Orlov won’t have lack of suitors if he gets to the free agent market.

“I don’t know…we’ll see,” said Orlov, clearly amused when asked if Washington was an option. “It’s tough. Probably. Yeah. I’m going to talk to my agent, but how I see it is that if they traded me then I don’t think it’s going to work out. But we’ll see.”

The guess here is that the Bruins won’t have the money for Orlov unless they deal an established defensemen like Matt Grzelcyk in the offseason to clear up adequate salary cap space. It’s not impossible but it feels like Orlov is going to be a luxury for them rather than a priority during an offseason where Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins management group have a lot of work to do.

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