In today’s Examiner, OFB comrade Dmitry Chesnokov offers an update on Capitals’ 2009 second-round pick Dmitri Orlov, one of the most interesting players at last week’s Development Camp. The upshot: he valued greatly his trip overseas to attend the camp, he is home now in Russia, and he is uncertain just where he’ll develop as a young professional in 2009-10.
At the end of camp last Saturday Orlov told us he’d be more than happy to play in Hershey next season, however that would require the Caps inking him to a deal at a time when cap space is at a premium. If Orlov were to remain in Russia for the upcoming hockey season he’d develop in one of the best professional hockey leagues in the world while not earning a year of NHL service in a commitment to the Caps. It’s sort of like having a promising freshman running back on campus with a top-10 college football team: redshirt him and you still get four years of eligibility from him in uniform when he can have a greater impact.
But as Chesnokov pointed out yesterday at Puck Daddy, Orlov’s services may be wedded to the KHL for some time — the upstart Russian league mandates that players are team property until the age of 28, and that players seeking to opt out of their “restricted free agent” status there must pay out one-third of their contracted value.
So how were Russian players such as Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin able to get out of Russia and into the NHL? Those stars’ deals were negotiated in the old Russian Super League; the KHL has an altogether different set of contractual obligations.