Bruins acquire Dmitry Orlov & Garnet Hathaway from the Capitals for Craig Smith & picks

NHL leading Boston Bruins swing MAJOR trade acquiring defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals for Craig Smith and three picks in a three-team deal

Just eight days from the NHL trade deadline, the league-leading Boston Bruins made a game-changing deal with the Washington Capitals in a three-team move.

Boston acquired forward Garnet Hathaway and defenseman Dmitry Orlov in exchange for forward Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and a 2024 third-round pick.

The Capitals initially sent Orlov to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward prospect Andrei Svetlakov – with Washington retaining half of Orlov’s salary.

Minnesota then moved Orlov to Boston for a 2023 fifth round pick – with the Wild retaining 25 percent of Orlov’s salary. In addition, Washington moved Svetlakov to Boston as part of the trade.

In summary, the Wild get a fifth-rounder from Boston. The Capitals get Smith and first, second, and third round picks from the Bruins. Meanwhile, Boston gets Hathaway, Svetlakov, and Orlov while paying only 25 percent of Orlov’s salary.

Boston Bruins have acquired forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals 

This move is a massive upgrade for the Bruins, who move on from Smith – a winger who was paid handsomely, but having a down year – while bolstering their offensive depth and improving their defensive corps.

For Washington, this signals that the team might be gearing up for a rebuild – despite only sitting sixth in the Metropolitan division and only two points back from a Wild Card spot.

To begin analyzing the pieces moved in this trade, Svetlakov is a 26-year-old skater currently playing for CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League. Minnesota drafted him in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Draft and he has never played outside of Russia. 

Hathaway is a reliable power forward that should help improve Boston’s checking ability in its bottom six – bringing a physical presence on offense that is something the team used to be feared for.

So far this season, the 31-year-old Florida born, Maine raised, and Massachusetts schooled Hathaway has nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in 59 games. 

Hathaway mostly played on the fourth line in Washington with Nic Dowd as his center and Lars Eller as his left wing. It’s unclear if Boston would use him as Smith’s direct replacement on the third line, or if they would move wingers Nick Foligno or A.J. Greer up from the fourth line to fill Smith’s spot.

Smith had been having a rough season in Boston – his third in a Bruins uniform. After back-to-back 30+ point seasons, he’s only managed four goals and six assists for ten points in 42 games so far.

At one point this season, Smith was waived – but he was brought back up to Boston eventually. However, the 33-year-old Wisconsin native – who is in the final year of a deal earning him $3.1m a year – couldn’t be productive enough alongside center Charlie Coyle and left winger Taylor Hall.

That brings us to Orlov. The 31-year-old left-shot Russian defenseman was on Washington’s top pairing alongside American Trevor van Riemsdyk.

Now, it’s likely that he could slot into the second defensive pairing for Boston while the Bruins’ top-pairing left D Hampus Lindholm is having a Norris Trophy-worthy season.

That would likely put Orlov alongside Brandon Carlo on the second pairing- and would bring right-shot defenseman Charlie McAvoy back to his rightful place on the top pairing.

The Bruins also traded for Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov - via the Minnesota Wild

The Bruins also traded for Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov – via the Minnesota Wild

At 75 percent salary retention, this should prove to be a massive boost for the Bruins – which seem on a hot track towards winning the franchise’s seventh Stanley Cup, their first since 2011.

If fans of the Bruins have anything to gripe about, it’s that for the third time in five seasons, Boston general manager Don Sweeney traded away the team’s first-round pick.

However, considering Boston didn’t need to surrender one of the better prospects from its league-worst talent pool, it’s likely that this could be considered a short-term win for the Bruins.