Dmitry Orlov

Photo by Sweetest Hockey On Earth‘s Kyle Mace.

With Development Camp just over three weeks away, Dmitry Orlov is gearing up for a chance to impress the Capitals brass. After finishing his KHL season in February, the soon to be 20 year-old defenseman signed a contract to play for the Hershey Bears, AHL affiliate of the Caps. In 25 games with Chocolate-town, Orlov tallied 10 points, including two goals. Now, Dima is back in his hometown of Novokuznetsk, training for the upcoming season.

Below, RMNB’s Fedor Fedin translates two interviews with Orlov by Novokuznetsk Sports Portal, where the young Russian discusses his chances of making the Capitals this season, what he will do if he doesn’t and why the regional government drew his ire.

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Last year, I profiled three Russians that I thought the Capitals might consider drafting at pick number twenty six of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev, and Maxim Kitsyn. Two of those three players were actually selected by the team: Kuznetsov in the first round and Galiev in the third. This year, I want to see if I can work my magic again.

The 2011 NHL Entry Draft, set to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, June 24th and Saturday, June 25th, will see the Capitals picking 26th for the second year in a row. Since this year’s draft pool is weak and lacks what George McPhee calls “real difference makers,” I will be focusing on four prospects who are somehow connected to the Capitals.

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Is Brooks Laich Still a Capital Dot Com

Some questions plague our summer months. We already addressed “who the heck is Alex Semin?” and eventually we’ll get around to “Dear God, what is Ovechkin wearing now?” Today, however, is when we ponder, “What’s going to happen to Brooks Laich?”

An unrestricted free agent as of July 1, Brooks Laich looks as good to GMs across the league as he does to pretty much every girl I meet it seems like. Second (perhaps) only to fellow UFA Brad Richards, BL21 will be a tasty morsel on the open market. He’s a player who makes everyone around him better, he’s a competent two-way forward, he works on both special teams units, he can take face-offs and he might be the most eloquent hockey player you’ll ever hear. Everybody wants him.

We’re worried. Every day we scour the feeds and tweets for an update on Brooksy. Has he signed a contract yet? Are other teams talking about him? We’re spazzing out over here.

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“Time heals all wounds.” – Olie Kolzig (Photo credit: Joe Lavelle)

Olie Kolzig is back! Three years after the fan favorite goalie lost his starting role to Cristobal Huet and left on bad terms the club with which he had spent his entire NHL career, Kolzig has rejoined the Capitals as associate goaltender coach. In his new role, Kolzig will assist Dave Prior, who regains the title of goaltender coach he gave up in 2009 to spend more time with his family. Arturs Irbe took over for Prior but decided not to return for the 2011-12 season, citing reasons similar to Prior’s when he left his coaching job.

“I’m ecstatic to finally come back basically to the place I call home — playing there for so long,” Kolzig told reporters on a conference call. “Being away for two years, I started to get the itch again to get involved again with hockey. … When Dave Prior called me a few weeks back and pitched the idea of coming back and being an associate goaltending coach and working with him, I thought there’s probably not a better person that I want to work with and an organization that I want to be back together with.”

And Kolzig wasn’t the only one who found it a perfect match.

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Braden Holtby has become a fan favorite here in the big city of Washington, DC, but that doesn’t mean the young Capitals goaltender, who grew up on a farm in Marshall, Saskatchewan, doesn’t still hold a special place in his heart for the Canadian Prairies.

In the video above, Holtby talks about growing up in central Canada with Hockeydiaries producers Gemma Hooley and Chris Nelson, an upbringing he also discussed last July. “I played hockey all day,” he said then. “There is not much else to do in Saskatchewan.”

Gemma and Chris chronicled Holtby along with Matt Hendricks throughout the 2010-11 campaign, just as they’ve done the past two years, and the documentary will be released sometime this summer. For more details plus bonus audio and video, follow Media Chameleon on Twitter and on Tumblr.

Additional reporting by Ian Oland.

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Introducing: The Sasha Index

As the postseason winds down, we finally have a chance to answer the questions that have plagued us all year. And one question above all others keeps us up at night:

Who exactly is Alexander Semin?

Sure, he’s a 6’2″, 205-lbs., Siberian-born forward for the Washington Capitals; that’s the straightforward answer. But he’s also a mystery — wrapped in an puzzle — and nestled in one of those 3D illusion posters where you have to lie to people about seeing the hidden sailboat. A hat-tricking firecracker on one night and a reckless penalty factory on another, we now know two Alex Semins. But how do we tell which is which?

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Photo via: sashastolemyheart

Evgeny Kuznetsov is now officially a married man. The 19 year-old Caps prospect got hitched today to Anastasia Zinov’yeva, his girlfriend for less than a year, in a small, quaint ceremony at Trakor’s 7,500 seat arena. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was even in attendance, flying from Moscow to Chelyabinsk to make a wedding banquet held later in the day at Beryozka. Below the fold, RMNB’s Fedor Fedin translates the account of reporter Alexey Mikushin, while we also share cute photos and video from the day that was.

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Who needs a chruch when you can get married in your home arena which seats 7,500 people?

Photo credit: Traktor’s official website

After winning gold in Buffalo and putting up one of the best years ever recorded as a 18-year-old in Russia, Evgeny Kuznetsov continued his memorable year, proposing to his girlfriend of five months, Nastia, in early March.

Well, turns out that wedding is still totally on and will happen tomorrow at a modest church in Chelyabinsk Traktor arena, just a few days after news broke that Kuznetsov renegotiated his deal with Traktor and will stay in Russia for the 2011-12 season.

For those of you who were hoping to shower the young couple with cupcakes and wedding presents at Development Camp, Caps PR man Sergey Kocharov told The Washington Times that Kuznetsov will not be participating this year.

Below, via, Kuznetsov talks about the wedding, his recent shoulder surgery and his new contract. RMNB’s Fedor Fedin has your translation.

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