Brian MacLellan hasn’t been shy about writing big checks in the aftermath of another playoff disappointment.
On Friday, the Caps GM announced the club extended d-man Dmitry Orlov to the tune of $30.6 million over the next six years. That works out to an average annual cap hit of $5.1 million — a major increase from the $2.575M he was making on his previous deal.
Orlov, 25, gets the payday after two good offensive campaigns. He scored eight goals and 29 points in ’15-16, and six goals and 33 points last year. It’s worth nothing he appeared in all 82 contests both times, and saw his TOI jump from 16:02 to 19:32.
There was also the looming specter of a possible deal coming from his native Russia. Orlov was reportedly in talks with KHL powerhouse CSKA Moscow.
The move makes Orlov Washington’s third highest-paid blueliner — behind Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik — and the only one signed beyond 2021. As mentioned above, it’s also the latest big money splash from MacLellan. Previously, he locked in T.J. Oshie with a monster eight-year, $46 million deal, one that carries a $5.75M hit.
It was understood the Russian rearguard was going to get a raise and while the AAV is a big jump, it’s in line with other contracts throughout the league. It actually comes in reasonably close to the seven-year, $31.5 million deal Toronto gave fellow Russian d-man Nikita Zaitsev, and that one came with Zaitsev having less experience at the NHL level.