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Personnel has always been a concern on the blue line, with many different players rotating in and out of the starting six. Luckily for Washington, five of those defensemen this season are likely permanent fixtures: Mike Green, Roman Hamrlik, Karl Alzner, John Carlson and Dennis Wideman. However, the sixth spot has always been a position to debate.
Jeff Schultz is a Boudreau favorite, and has shown glimmers of hope in the past. Unfortunately, he is also extremely inconsistent, and offensively ineffective. More misfortunes for Washington are the injuries to veterans John Erskine and Tom Poti. While Poti's injury may be a blessing in disguise, allowing Washington to get under the salary cap, it drains the depth on the blue line.
However, the man who should get the job is Dmitri Orlov. The 20-year-old, former second-round draft pick has spent two seasons splitting time between the Hershey Bears of the AHL, and Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the KHL. Orlov is physically adequate at 6'0" and 200 pounds, and is one of the most talented prospects in the organization for Washington.