By: Cam Manning | Follow me on Twitter @Cam_Manning133
As we are approaching the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, it was clear to everyone that the Bruins were buyers. Even sitting at the top of the league standings, the rich can always be richer. It wasn’t a matter of whether the Bruins would try and upgrade but when they would do it. The Bruins answered that question Thursday night as they made a massive splash, acquiring Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway in exchange for forward Craig Smith and draft picks. So what exactly are the Bruins getting in Orlov and Hathaway? Let’s break it down.
Orlov and Hathaway could make meaningful impacts in Boston, but Orlov is the prized pick-up. The Russian defenseman can handle his own at both ends of the ice. One of his best abilities is his availability. Orlov has suited up for all 82 games in a season four times in his career. His scoring may be down this year, but the 31-year-old has logged an impressive average of 22:43 time on ice this season which marks the second-highest of his career.
Orlov spent rare time on the injured reserve at the beginning of the season but is healthy now and has posted 19 points in 43 games this season for the Capitals. Orlov brings value in many categories. Winning games at the most challenging time of year in the playoffs takes a combination of skill and physicality. Orlov also contributed 88 hits and 62 blocks for the Capitals this season. NHL fans may remember Orlov for laying out arguably the most incredible hip check of all time against former Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene.
Another value Orlov adds to this already-stacked Bruins team is that he can play in any situation Boston puts him in. His versatility to play on the right or left side gives head coach Jim Montgomery a lot of flexibility with the lineup card.
Not to be outshined by Orlov is Garnet Hathaway. Hathaway is an intense, in-your-face competitor, a hard-nosed bottom-six forward that adds grit and physicality that Bruins fans will love. The 6-foot-3, 208-pound forward could ultimately take pressure off his offensive-minded linemates as Hathaway thrives in his zone and has been a key contributor on the penalty kill for Washington this season.
Hathaway plays a similar type of game to that of former Bruin and current Maple Leaf Noel Accari. He plays that sandpaper game while adding a bit of a scoring touch. Hathaway also loves to lay the body; by trading for him, he jumps to number one on the Bruins in hits with 198 and ranks 8th in the league overall as of February 24th. The 31-year-old has nine goals and seven assists (16 points) in 53 games this season for Washington.
Ultimately, the Bruins added two players who perfectly complement a group with high expectations and lofty goals. Giving up a first-round pick in next year’s draft is less than ideal; however, not sacrificing any top prospects, such as Fabian Lysell or Mason Lohrei, in the deal is a massive win for Bruins GM Don Sweeney. The Bruins, on paper, are more profound and better than before the agreement, and this trade should pay enormous dividends for this already-stacked Bruins team as they are looking toward the postseason.
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