The Bruins worked a three-team trade between the Washington Capitals and the Minnesota Wild that ended with the Bruins sending a 2023 first-round pick, 2025 second-round pick, 2024 third-round pick & forward Craig Smith to Washington, a 2023 fifth-round pick to Minnesota and receiving Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Capitals (with Orlov going to MIN for some cap holding) and the rights to Andrei Svetlakov from the Wild.
With all the rumors about Vladislav Gavrikov and the Bruins' holdup with figuring out their cap situation, it’s surprising that both Orlov was available and that Don swung a trade like this to get it to be cap compliant.
With that, let’s take a look at the two newest Bruins coming from the Caps:
The Bruins were missing some grit on both sides of the puck, something they know has hampered them in multiple playoffs past. In one fell swoop, Sweeney brings in two guys who bring not just snarl but positive metrics as lineup players. Hathaway has nine goals on the season, including a game-winner against the Bruins earlier in February, and shows he can bring more offense to the table. Orlov hasn’t had as much luck; not having John Carlson in the lineup as a pair certainly hurts, but his expected goals/for per 60 shows he’s more than capable. Orlov can also be a decent second PK defenseman alongside the plethora of guys the Bruins have that can do it anyway.
We say goodbye to Craig Smith, whose name has been floated all season alongside Mike Reilly as someone the Bruins needed to part with to get more cap compliant to make a trade of this caliber. His 2OT goal against the Capitals in Round 1 of the playoffs in 2021 won’t be forgotten.
What’s genius about this is the cap retention. The Capitals keep 50% of Orlov’s cap hit and the Wild keep 25% of it as well, leaving just 25% for the Bruins. $3.1M out with Smith’s contract leaving, and the combined cap hit of Orlov’s 25% and Hathaway is $2.775. Orlov’s and Hathaway’s contracts end this season, so if both become rentals, it’s useable cap space for a significant extension for someone *cough cough DON* or free agency.
Don Sweeney has definitely made headlines with this one. The return is a good chunk, understandably for both players that certainly help the Bruins in the here-and-now and involve Minnesota to help the cap situation stay under control. However, it’s also recognizing this could be their best shot at winning a Cup with Bergeron and Krejci again and doing his best to make it happen.
If visuals are more of your thing, here's the full breakdown:
What say y’all? Great trade? Give up too much?