Dima sits with the other Bears scratches during Saturday’s Bears game. (Photo credit: Katie Stansbery)
When Dmitry Orlov came out of the tunnel for the AHL Showcase game last month, he was excited to see fans back at Verizon Center. It was the reason why, in his opinion, he played the best hockey of his season. The AHL gamesheet says that the 21-year-old defenseman recorded two shots on goal that first period, but Dima remembered it being closer to four or five.
Unfortunately, as he confirmed to me on Saturday night during the first intermission of the Bears/Senators game, Orlov suffered an injury after absorbing a hit from Emerson Etem. Due to team policy, Orlov would not reveal the nature or location of his injury.
After spending two weeks recovering, Orlov has begun riding an exercise bike and lifting weights. According to Hershey Bears head coach Mark French, Orlov is close to getting back on the ice for practice again.
“He’s still not skating,” French told me after the Bears 3-1 loss to the Binghamton Senators. “We hope in the next week we can get him back on the ice and start getting his conditioning to a level that we might see him back in the line-up in the future.”
With the lockout now over, Orlov will most likely return to Arlington for training camp where his status will be further evaluated, just like injured first-line center Nicklas Backstrom, whose agent told us is week-to-week with a “bruised neck.”
When I asked Orlov how tough it would be to skate after a month-plus-long layoff, Orlov squeezed his non-existent belly fat, laughed, and told me in English,”it will be very difficult.” He’s hopeful he will be ready for Opening Night in a few weeks. Fingers crossed.
Photo credit: Ian iPad