Beauts Bring Orlando Out of Retirement
The Buffalo Beauts announced a big move by signing an original NWHL/PHF player. Defender Elena Orlando has decided to come out of retirement and join Buffalo's blue line for her seventh straight season in the league. The 29-year-old stay-at-home defender is an original member of the Metropolitan Riveters from the inaugural 2015-16 season. Orlando followed that up with five straight seasons for the Connecticut Whale. Now she will make Buffalo her third destination in her PHF career.
"After retiring, the feeling of being done never really set in," Orlando said. "I still had the desire to play and compete. When I was approached with the opportunity in Buffalo, looking at the great organization they have and the strong team they put together, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. "
Orlando is known for her defensive prowess and shot-blocking ability. In 89 career regular season PHF games she has gone 0-7-7 for scoring. In 2019-20 Orlando tied for fifth in the league in blocked shots with 23 stops in 24 regular season games. In the abbreviated 2020-21 season, she blocked seven shots in only four games. Her longevity and defensive prowess have seen Orlando be a recipient of multiple PHF honors. In 2017 she was Connecticut's winner of the league's Foundation Award. 2020 would see her selected to participate in the All-Star Game.
"It is a great opportunity for our organization to have added such a well-respected and steadfast player like Lando," said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. "She has been in the league since its very beginning, and that is a testament to both her ability level and her dependability. You don't simply play nearly 100 games in the PHF (96 games regular season and playoffs combined) without being a topnotch player who has remained relevant as women's hockey continues to grow. Very few players in the world like Elena."
Orlando played her collegiate career with Quinnipiac University from 2010-11 through 2013-14. With the Bobcats she went 3-8-11 for scoring in 85 career NCAA games. Orlando played the 2014-15 season in Sweden for Sundsvall/Timrå in the SDHL. There she raised her offense by scoring five goals and four assists for nine points in 14 postseason contests.
Orlando is very excited to be joining the Beauts and having the opportunity to finally raise the Isobel Cup.
"I can’t wait to start practices and training with my new teammates," she said. "They’ve made a lot of changes in the off-season, brought in some big pieces, and I feel like this is a team people should be excited about. I’m really thrilled to be part of this organization."