It definitely suits him. (Photoshop by me!)

Update 11:10 PM: A Caps spokesman has confirmed the number change.

After spending parts of four seasons in the Washington Capitals organization wearing a whole bunch of jersey numbers that add up to 9, it appears Russian defenseman Dmitry Orlov finally has his childhood number.

On Saturday, Caps hockey blog Rock The Red first noticed the change on the Caps’ website, where Dmitry Orlov’s name is next to the number 9. Later, reader Evan sent us a screenshot of his very own.

The change is live and can be seen on the Caps’ roster page.

We asked Caps PR to comment but did not receive a response before publication.

During his career in Russia, Orlov wore the number 9 with his hometown KHL team, Metallurg Novokuznetsk. His hometown fans referred to him as the Russian Bobby Orr.

He also wore it with the U-20 Russian National Team that won a gold medal in Buffalo.

During his first Development Camp with the Capitals, Orlov wore #81.

During his debut development camp, RMNB’s very own Oksana Zolotar asked him about why he loved the #9 so much.

Oksana Zolotar: Dima, what about the number 9? Does it mean anything? Or is it just a number?
Dmitry Orlov: No. I just like the number, and I’ve played with it for several years… I just like the number.

When he made his professional debut with the Hershey Bears on February 27, 2011, Dima wore #27.

Dmitri Orlov during warm-ups in his first pro game with the Hershey Bears

He explained to’s Andrey Osadchenko later that year that he didn’t have much of a choice, and again chose two digits that added up to 9.

Andrey Osadchenko: It was somewhat unusual to see you wearing not the usual number 9, but 27. Why did you pick that number?

Dmitry Orlov: I was given a choice between 27 and 34. I decided to go with 27. There were no other options, including number 9. Because that number belonged to someone else who played for Hershey in the past, and now the number is retired. So I was told: ‘Sorry, but there is no way.’

Since then Orlov has continued to wear #81 in Washington and was forced to change to #28 while in Hershey.

Now it appears all is right in the world – though I’d hold up buying that shiny new #9 Orlov jersey until the Caps confirm.


Thanks to Kelsey M. for also tweeting a screenshot of the roster page.

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  • Cameron

    Those Russians… I have an Orlov 81 shirt and a Varly 40 Jersey

  • $$$$

    Guess that means sale at Kettler on all the 81 gear!

  • blanket

    Now somebody just needs to convince Wilson, Beagle, Holtby, Schmidt, Carrick etc. to change their numbers. Rookie numbers bother me.

  • Steve Marshall

    Darn I have a 81 jersey

  • MarkGreenway

    So did he add the digits to get nine. Or take the square root? Russians are enigmatic. :::pssshowow:::: minds blown.

  • If you have been reading us from the beginning, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING! 🙂

    And just think about it, the #81 will be way cooler to wear in the future. It’s vintage and will be harder to find than a #9.

  • Punished Snake

    Reminds me of when Fleischmann took 14 from Fehr, though this time should be a bit less confusing.

  • Alicia

    I’m having a brain fart, was there a departed player who had 9? Or did he just not change it until now?

  • jesseb94

    Ribz had #9 and Morrison at one point

  • Steve Marshall

    Found you guys and started reading around 2010-11 season must have been before my loyalty began

  • DustinPenncakes

    I’m curious to see if Wilson will change his number to 10 now.

  • Roman Z.

    An upvote for a fellow MGS fan!

  • Dark Stranger

    So, in celebration of him changing to #9, here’s the kid’s song “Dr. Knickerbocker” by the Wiggles which starts out “Dr. Knickerbocker Number 9”. (I realize it’s a silly song but features #9 prominently. And also talks about the rhythm of the hips which made my think of Dima’s hip checks.)

  • John M

    Well, I was born in ’81, so I’m happy to have it.

  • Goat


    (I tried just posting the exclamation point, but it needed to be more characters.)

  • VeggieTart

    Heck, no. Given how superstitious Braden is, do you think he’s going to muck with his number?

  • Roman Z.

    Haha ok then here’s your upvote!

  • KG

    Number 9. Number 9. Number 9. Number 9. Number 9.

  • OvechkinFiresAndScores08

    Thanks Orlov. I just stopped confusing you with Marian Hossa (my brothers a Blackhawks fan) now I’m gonna think your the second coming of Mike Riberio.

  • OvechkinFiresAndScores08

    Wilson wore number 12 I think when he was in Plymouth.

  • OvechkinFiresAndScores08

    Don’t quote me on that though.

  • OvechkinFiresAndScores08

    It might’ve been 10 actually.

  • oryp

    THE 10 TRAIN

  • Kinda like my Volpatti #24.