NHL-best Bruins add Orlov, Hathaway from Caps
Subban: Bruins look ‘impossible to beat’ after trade for Hathaway, Orlov (0:34)
P. K. Subban says the Bruins look even better after trading for Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway. (0:34)
7:07 PM ET
Ryan S. ClarkNHL reporter
- Ryan S. Clark is an NHL reporter for ESPN.
Hours after they announced that both players would be held out for trade reasons, the Washington Capitals sent Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
In return, the Capitals received Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 third-round pick and a 2025 second-round selection.
The Minnesota Wild also announced they received a 2023 fifth-round pick and will retain 50% of Orlov’s salary. The signing rights to Andrei Svetlakov went to Boston.
A pair of pending unrestricted free agents, Orlov and Hathaway provide more depth for the Bruins, who entered Thursday with the best record in the NHL at 43-8-5 while also having a plus-92 goal differential.
“I think it adds a ton of depth to our group. That’s what you need in the playoffs, and I think that’s how you win,” Bruins left wing Brad Marchand said. “You have four lines, six D and two goalies that you roll through. There’s always injuries that happen at playoff time and you need guys that are able to come in and fill that void and play at that high level. We have that right now. We’ve had it all year, and that’s why we’ve been successful. But we still have a long ways to go, a lot that we can build on and get better at. We can’t jump ahead to playoffs yet, but they will help us for sure come playoff time.”
In Orlov, the Bruins now have another top-four defenseman who is averaging a career-high 22:43 in ice time this season. He also has three goals and 19 points in 43 games. Hathaway provides the Bruins with a 6-foot-3 bottom-six forward who has nine goals and 16 points in 59 games.
Their arrival also means the Bruins have added two players who can log minutes to what is already the NHL’s top penalty kill with a success rate of 86.5%.
“I think it’s great. Depth is great when you get Orlov coming in. He kills penalties,” Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton said. “We obviously have our four great killers, now we have five or six. [Matt Grzelcyk] doesn’t get much time, but he’s been great, too. It’s just about depth, honestly. Injuries are going to happen down the line. They may happen tomorrow. So, we’re building for a playoff run.”
With Smith going to the Capitals, it brings an end to a relationship that started when he signed a three-year deal with the Bruins in October 2020. A perennial 30-point scorer, Smith scored more than 13 goals in each of his first two seasons while also reaching the 30-point mark. Yet this season saw Smith, who is a pending UFA, muster only four goals and 10 points over 42 games.
“It’s really tough when you see a teammate get traded,” Marchand said. “Smitty is such an incredible guy and an unbelievable teammate. It’s always hard. He’s very good friends with a lot of guys on the team. It’s tough to see, but that’s unfortunately the nature of the business.
“The guys they’re bringing in are great players. They’re going to help us a lot. It adds a ton of depth to our group, and both are very hard guys to play against — playoff players. So, it’s tough to see Smitty go. We wish him nothing but the best. So happy for him and his family that we got to spend the time with them and get to know them, but very excited to get those two new guys in.”
Taking on Smith is only part of the equation for the Capitals. Trading away Hathaway and Orlov while getting a sizable bounty in return could indicate the team — which suffered a sixth straight loss to the Ducks on Thursday night and is two points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot — believes it might be better to focus on the future instead.
The deal means the Capitals have two first-round picks in the 2023 draft and a total of six picks overall. They will have seven draft picks for the 2024 draft and another eight for 2025.