NHL-best Bruins add Orlov, Hathaway from Caps


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.

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%.

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.

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 is just 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.

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