Capitals General Manager George McPhee discussed a number of topics when he met with local reporters Tuesday morning. While he declined to offer an update on Nicklas Backstrom prior to the ratification of the collective bargaining agreement, here’s a run-down of personnel items he did comment on before training camp:
• It’s unlikely that Dmitry Orlov will be ready for the start of the season on Jan. 19. The second-year defenseman suffered an upper-body injury on Dec. 6 and hasn’t played or practiced regularly since.
“He’s been out for a while, but starting to work out again and feeling better, so it could be a little bit longer. But as soon as he’s ready, he’ll be here,” McPhee said. “He’s going to have to get his legs under him again because he’s been out six weeks.”
This is Orlov’s second injury this season. In early November, he missed four games (roughly two weeks) also with an upper-body injury.
• Defenseman Tom Poti plans to arrive in Washington later this week with the intent of passing his physical and participating in training camp.
Given that Poti hasn’t played an NHL game since Jan. 12, 2011, because of lingering groin problems and a fractured pelvis, McPhee tempered optimism a bit but said if the veteran blue-liner can play it will only benefit the Capitals.
“It’s good news and good for him that he’s put all the work in. I don’t know if he’s going to be able to play,” McPhee said. “If he can, that’d be great. I think it’s a bit of a long shot, but if he can play, that’d be terrific. We wouldn’t have any cap issues or anything like that, so that would be fine if he could do it.
“I sure hope for his sake and our sake he’ll be able to play. We’ll see.”
• Don’t expect many extra players in attendance for this shortened training camp. In fact, McPhee said the only additional player he plans on including is Bears defenseman Cam Schilling.
“There’s no sense bringing in the junior players and that sort of thing because they wouldn’t be able to make our team right now anyway,” McPhee said.
Schilling’s presence would give the Capitals 10 defensemen in camp — if Orlov and Poti are able to participate. In 32 games with the Bears, Schilling has three goals, four assists and a plus-6 rating.