It’s been six days since the Washington Capitals signaled to the rest of the NHL that they were selling at the upcoming NHL trade deadline. Their first move was sending Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Craig Smith, a 2023 first rounder, a 2025 second rounder, and a 2024 third rounder.
We already graded the trade of Marcus Johansson. Coming up next we’ll grade the Marcus Johansson trade and we’ll continue to grade more trades after they happen if General Manager Brian MacLellan ain’t done. And he probably won’t be.
First off let’s get to the root of this deal. Orlov was on an expiring contract and both sides were open to agreeing to an extension but neither side agreed. The issue was term. The Caps probably wanted short term while Orlov wanted long or vice versa. Either way, if your’e sinking in the standings, why keep someone who won’t come back under the conditions you want?
Second why was Hathaway a part of this deal? Simple. The Caps needed draft picks to build up their farm system which while better than it was a few years ago still needs work. And they needed a first rounder out of it. So they enticed the Bruins by including a valuable player who brings grit and toughness to a team vying for a Stanley Cup.
Now here is where it gets interesting. The Caps knew that first round pick wouldn’t be good until later in the round. That’s just how the draft works for picks with teams with good records. The Caps would then deal this pick away to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Erik Gustafsson for Rasmus Sandin deal. We’ll grade that one tomorrow unless more chaos happens. And there will be.
Grade B-: This trade somewhat helps the Caps and boosts the Bruins as they look to continue the incredible season they’re having. The reason this gets a B- is because that first round pick gets dealt later on. Hopefully the Caps can find a way to get a better first round pick with one or two more trades.