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Orlov Surprised By Capitals Goalie Overhaul, Pokes Fun At Matt Murray



Capitals Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek and Dmitry Orlov

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov was ready to see the team change things up this summer after four consecutive first-round exits. However, he hadn’t expected a complete overhaul between the pipes.

On the Slippery Ice Podcast and translated from, Orlov discussed the Capitals changes this offseason, starting with the goalies.

Both Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek were RFAs in need of new contracts. Looking at the situation, Orlov had believed one of the two would depart this offseason. And, between Samsonov and Vanecek, Orlov figured his countrymate would be on the move considering he was a former first-round pick and that there was likely “more demand” for him.

However, that wasn’t the case. General manager Brian MacLellan didn’t keep either netminder and instead, he let both walk as he chose to start from scratch and pursue two new names on the free agent market.

“The fact that we didn’t have two goalies [on the roster] was unexpected,” Orlov admitted on the Slippery Ice podcast of the Capitals entering free agency. “We thought [only] one of them would leave.”

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Washington ended up trading Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils for picks to open the second day of the 2022 NHL Draft. Then, weeks later, MacLellan didn’t issue Samsonov a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Samsonov then signed a one-year, $1.8 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs on the opening day of free agency. To replace Samsonov and Vanecek, the Capitals signed Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren.

Ultimately, Orlov believes Samsonov will fare well in Toronto as he competes with Matt Murray to be the full-time starter.

“I don’t know how it’ll turn out, but I think he has a good chance,” Orlov said. “Murray’s constantly injured. Samsonov has the opportunity [to take the No. 1 job].”