When Brooks Orpik underwent wrist surgery in July, the expectation was that he’d be ready in time for the Caps’ regular season opener on Oct. 10; however, it seems as though the defenseman is ahead of schedule.
Speaking to Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post, Barry Trotz said the veteran blue liner should be available during the club’s seven game preseason schedule.
“He’ll be fine,” Trotz said. “I expect him to play in some exhibition games and be ready to go.”
The 34-year-old had 19 assists and averaged 21:48 of ice time in 78 games with Washington last season.
Related: Caps’ Backstrom (hip) to miss preseason
The Washington Capitals have invited center Derek Roy to training camp on a professional tryout.
Roy split the 2014-15 season with the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers scoring 12 goals and 32 points in 72 games.
With Nicklas Backstrom expected to miss the preseason recovering from hip surgery, Roy could temporarily fill the void. However, it’s hard to see the 32-year-old earning a contract in Washington.
In addition to Backstrom, the Caps have Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jay Beagle, Michael Latta, Liam O’Brien and newcomer Zach Sill down the middle.
On top of the depth at center, Washington has less than $500,000 in salary cap space remaining, according to Generalfanager.com.
If Roy earns a contract with the Capitals, Washington would be his seventh club in five seasons.
Related: Report: Skille to join Avs’ camp on PTO
After undergoing hip surgery in May, Capitals’ forward Nicklas Backstrom is expected to miss all seven of Washington’s preseason games.
“Backie is still the same,” coach Barry Trotz told The Washington Post. “He’s skating and if he keeps going, he’ll keep progressing and get cleared at some point to come to the main group. Once he comes to the main group, I think he’s a few weeks away. That won’t be for a little while. I don’t expect him to be playing in any of the exhibition games. I really don’t.”
At the time his surgery was announced, the Capitals were confident the 27-year-old would be ready for the start of the regular season.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was expected to start the season as the Caps’ second line center, could start the season playing on the club’s top line, if Backstrom isn’t ready for Washington’s regular season opener on Oct. 10.
“I’m going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing,” Backstrom said earlier this month. “I’m not going to play on 90 percent. We’ll see how it goes. We don’t know yet.”
Backstrom scored 18 goals and 78 points in 82 games last season.