The Bruins are at it again! Many love to question General Manager Don Sweeney’s reliability but cannot deny that he is a wizard at trades. In a move that surprised every hockey fan, the Bruins acquired veteran Defenseman Dimitry Orlov and Forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals. Adding some much needed depth for a hopefully deep playoff run. The full details are here. Buckle up because this is a lot of information.
Getting right into it, Boston received the two players they wanted. Washington in return received a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick from the B’s as well as forward Craig Smith. Smith’s contract was due to be dumped somewhere else, as he hasn’t been playing up to it.
Why is Minnesota here? Well majority of NHL teams have cap space issues this year, which is why we are seeing many three way deals as of late. For Boston to be able pull off this deal, they need a third team to pay part of Dimitry Orlov’s hefty 5 Million dollar contract for them to stay within the NHL salary cap.
For compensation, Minnesota receives a fifth from Boston for paying Orlov 50% of the money owed to him. The Wild, as part of the deal, sent the rights of Andrei Svetlakov to Boston, who’s just a prospect. No offense to him but he’s not vital to the deal.
In terms of how you should look at this deal, it’s pretty even if you think about it. The public opinion across social media is 50/50. While some believe Boston paid too much in this deal, it was necessary. As the favorite for the Stanley Cup, a first round pick does you no good if you don’t upgrade your roster from it.
As for the Capitals they’re on the brink of just missing the playoffs, as the eldest team in the NHL with a retirement home of a core, it’s about time they start thinking ahead. So acquiring these picks shows they understand that it’s time to look towards a rebuild.
So what can these players bring to the table? First let’s discuss Garnet Hathaway.
Hathaway is exactly what the B’s could use for the Bottom 6 forward group. As of late they’ve lacked the grit that Hathaway is known for. Remember Shawn Thornton, Rich Peverley, Daniel Paille? That’s kinda who you’re getting. Especially for the playoffs, the Bruins will need a guy who can win puck battles, lay the body and bring the energy.
This season, in 59 games Hathaway has just 16 points. Not appealing but when you look deeper into the advanced stats it shows his defensive game could prove valuable on the penalty kill. (see left)
Garnet is averaging 6 blocked shots per 60 minutes as well as a 96% efficiency rating on defense. Just imagine Trent Frederic, AJ Greer and Garnet Hathaway together on the same line. You gon die.
Moving on to Dmitry Orlov. Earlier in the week it was rumored that the Bruins were ready to trade for Columbus’s defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov instead. If you look at the comparison between the two on the advanced stats you can tell who was the better option.
Columbus valued Gavrikov at a first round pick, I’m glad Sweeney found someone much more valuable for said first round pick. Orlov is a top pair defenseman on most teams in the NHL. On Boston, he’s riding the bench. (That’s a good thing.)
Orlov has had a down season this year defensively but that could be on Washington’s end for being a Wild Card team. He’s a big body who is amazing at moving the puck forward in transition, which the Bruins have been bumpy on this season as of late.
Coming to Boston will be mutually beneficial as the Bruins have lacked offensive production from the blue line outside of McAvoy and Lindholm. He can certainly bring firepower from the blueline, with 16 assists for 19 points, he’s already 4th in Bruins points among Dmen. Along with that Orlov EATS minutes as he’s in the 93 percentile rank averaging 21 mins a night and can last on the ice longer than most defenseman in the league.
All in all, this trade makes the Bruins even scarier this year. They add on some much needed depth that will spark some aspects of their game that have been lacking. If you think it’s gonna be a cake walk to the cup you’re wrong. I said before I didn’t think the Bruins would perform up to expectations early on….I was wrong. First place in the league and they just upgraded even more for the postseason. The playoffs are a whole new ballpark, and these two coming in are just what we needed for the style of hockey that goes on in spring.