NHL Rumors: Team USA, Orlov and Russell
Dmitry Orlov of the Washington Capitals
On Team USA …

Craig Custance: In a different tournament format/world, Team USA could have used Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel, Tyler Johnson and Ryan Kesler at center. James Mirtle asked Custance if Team USA complained if they couldn’t use some players who were on Team North America … Custance said they did ask for possible exemptions.

On the Washington Capitals and Dmitry Orlov

Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post: Multiple sources saying the Washington Capitals and RFA defenseman Dmitry Orlov could be close to completing a one-year deal. The Capitals and Orlov’s camp have been negotiating while Orlov has been playing in the World Cup of Hockey.

The Capitals have around $3.45 million in salary cap space. A deal could be for around $2.6 million. The Capitals will need some cap space for an extra forward or an injury call-up during the season.

The hold up on the contract may have been more to do with his role on the team as opposed to money or term. Orlov wants a bigger role with the Capitals. He was used mostly on the third pairing with no penalty killing time and limited power play time last season.

The Capitals have talked this offseason about giving Orlov a bigger role for this season. He could be moved into their top-four and paired with either Matt Niskanen or John Carlson.

On Kris Russell

Chris Nichols of Today’s Slapshot: Darren Dreger on TSN 690 on how Kris Russell hasn’t signed yet.

“I checked in yesterday. I’m trying to do as little as possible on the Insider beat now (laughs), but I checked in yesterday and it’s getting closer. There’s still a few teams that are intertwined, involved in the process. I haven’t yet been able to crack exactly which teams, who is involved – whether it’s Montreal, Toronto. Boston still needs a defenseman.”