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.
The change is live and can be seen on the Caps’ roster page.
— Evan (@CescFabregasm) August 25, 2014
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.
He explained to Sports.ru’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.