Dmitry Orlov trade grades: Bruins bolster elite blue line, Capitals prepare to reload

Unhappy with their place at the top of the NHL standings, the Boston Bruins strengthened their team by acquiring defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

In exchange for Orlov and Hathaway, the Bruins sent the Capitals a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, a 2024 third-round pick, and forward Craig Smith.

To make the money work for Boston, Washington withheld 50% of Orlov’s salary, and the Minnesota Wild acted as a third party to keep 25% of his salary. The Wild also traded the rights to former sixth-round pick Andrey Svetlakov to the Bruins in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2023.

The Bruins, already one of the best defensive teams in the NHL, have become even stronger on the blue line. At the other end of that deal, the Capitals have received some assets that will allow them to rebound on the fly, and Alex Ovechkin is still playing at a high level.

Let’s take a look at how each team fared in this three-way exchange.

Boston Bruins

Let’s start with this: the Bruins have gotten better defensively. They don’t argue about it. Orlov is an underrated player and far better than Columbus Blue Jackets guard Vladislav Gavrikov, with whom Boston has been linked in recent weeks.

Orlov, 31, has been an effective defender throughout his 11-year career, although he is not a household name. This season has been a struggle for the entire Capitals team, but Orlov has still made a positive impact. With Orlov on the ice, in a five-on-five game, the Capitals controlled 50.83% of expected goals. according to Natural Stat Trick. That number won’t surprise anyone, but it’s a solid one considering the workload Orlov has faced with John Carlson battling injury this season.

Orlov is also a reliable offensive driver. He is a good defender with the puck who can get the puck on the ice quickly, creating chances on the other side of the field. Orlov has three goals and 16 assists in 43 games this season, but in 2021/22 he scored 12 goals and 35 points.

There is a chance that Orlov will take his game to the next level in Boston, which will be a much more favorable situation for him. Orlov can still play a role in the top four for the Bruins, but he’ll be next to Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo. Orlov should take off with any of these players.

As for Hathaway, he will provide the Bruins with a reliable bottom-six hitter and a reassuring impact on the ice. The Capitals controlled a 55.02% share of expected goals and had a plus 6 goal margin when Hathaway was five-on-five on the ice. These numbers should only improve in the Bruins deep team.

The biggest question about this move for the Bruins is whether they should have taken it at all. Boston already ranks among the top two defensive teams in the NHL in terms of both expected and actual goals, and their blue line depth is incredible, just like Matt Grzelczyk and Connor Clifton. Was Boston worth sacrificing so much capital to fix something that wasn’t broken?

This election could perhaps have been better spent acquiring a dynamic forward from the top six. The Bruins haven’t had a problem scoring goals this season, but if there’s one niggle with their lineup, it’s that the forward group can be a bit heavy. Another scoring threat would make Boston pretty invulnerable.

With the acquisition of Orlov, the already elite defensive team found it even more difficult to score. This type of defensive prowess will come in handy when the playoffs kick off, but Boston did shell out for a few future assets to fill a need it didn’t have. It takes a bit of the shine off what was otherwise a solid upgrade for the Bruins. Grade – B+

Washington Capitals

The Capitals saw the warning and quickly switched to seller mode before the NHL trade deadline. After losing to the lowly Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, the Washingtons have lost six games in a row on the main roster, and the team ranks 13th in the Eastern Conference in scoring percentage.

As the Capitals dropped to the bottom of the alternates list, general manager Brian McLellan wasted no time picking two free agents for draft picks.

In an ideal world, the Washingtons would probably prefer to make the playoffs this year and re-sign Orlov as a free agent, but he is 31 years old and would generate a lot of free agent interest. The same can be said for Hathaway, even though he is likely to be signed to a more manageable limit.

The Capitals now have two first-round picks this year and all sorts of flexibility going forward. This summer, Washington has 10 players set to become unrestricted free agents and two more to become restricted free agents. McLellan could even flip a couple more players to really stockpile draft picks and prospects.

This trade is not the beginning of a complete overhaul of the Capitals. Instead, the Washingtons will likely try to recharge on the fly while Alex Ovechkin is still playing at a high level, and this return will help them do just that.

If there’s any downside to this deal from the Capitals’ point of view, it’s that they could last longer, depending on what happens to other defensemen like Jacob Chychrun and Gavrikov. A desperate team might want to raise the price a bit closer to the deadline.

Even if Washington didn’t maximize its profits from Orlov and Hathaway, this deal makes a lot of sense. The Capitals deserve credit for facing the reality of their current situation and looking to the future. Rated excellent-

Minnesota Wild

For the second time in a couple of weeks, the Wild received a free draft pick to take on a small portion of a player’s cap. In the words of comedy genius Tim Heidecker, “It’s free real estate.”

Taking 25% of Orlov’s cap reduces Wild’s ability to improve his team ahead of schedule very little, and now they can only save one more player’s salary. That said, Minnesota still has a lot of room if they want to add a player or two, and they’ve found that you don’t have to be one of the rotten teams in the league to use cap space. Rated excellent-

Source: www.cbssports.com

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