Throughout this past week the Bruins have been heavily linked with Columbus defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, with several reports suggesting a trade was imminent. However, Don Sweeney chose to look elsewhere for a different Russian blueliner and acquired Dmitry Orlov, along with Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals.
In exchange, Boston will send Craig Smith and a package of draft picks (2023 1st, 2024 3rd, 2025 2nd) to the nation’s capital. Washington will retain half of Orlov’s $5m cap hit, with another $1.275m being retained through Minnesota. The Russian defenseman has 19 points in 43 games and is set to become a free agent this summer.
With this move Boston still holds $1.325m in cap space to make another deal.
Orlov is more of a puck-moving defenseman than a hulking shot blocker like Gavrikov, and The Athletics’ advanced stats strongly favor the former. However the Bruins did not skip grit for finesse, as Hathaway is a physical fourth line grinder. The 6’3″ Kennebunkport, Maine native is credited with 198 hits and 65 blocked shots this year for Washington. He has never had fewer than 150 in a full season, and only two Bruins are over 100.
The added grit to the forward depth addresses a need Bruins fans have been screaming for years about after several playoff exits where Boston looked like the second toughest team.
Craig Smith had been a likely trade candidate out of Boston for some time. He was in-and-out of the lineup and contributed 10 points in 42 games. His expiring $3.1m cap hit was likely to be included in any deal the cap-strapped Bruins sought to make. Throughout his full tenure in Boston, Smith contributed 33 goals and 78 points in 170 games.
Hathway and Orlov are likely to assume roles on the 4th line and 3rd defensive pairing for the B’s.
Per Mark Allred on Twitter, Boston has another trade in place likely involving Mike Reilly and Jakub Zboril.
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