Bruins trade for Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway
With Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov kept out of the lineup over the last few games and the Bruins frontrunners, it certainly felt like a Gavrikov trade to Boston was more of a matter of when, not if.
That all changed Thursday night when the Bruins acquired Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round pick, 2025 second-round pick, and 2024 third-round pick. The Capitals will retain 50 percent of Orlov’s salary this season.
The Bruins also sent a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Minnesota Wild who will retain 25 percent of Orlov’s salary.
It’s hard not to like this trade for the Bruins. In Orlov, they address the need for a top-four left-shot defenseman to play behind Charlie McAvoy. Orlov can also play the right side if needed. With Orlov, the Bruins can mix and match McAvoy, Orlov, Brandon Carlo and Hampus Lindholm between the top-two pairings.
Orlov brings a more physical presence to the Bruins blueline and gives head coach Jim Montgomery some flexibility with his d-pairings. In terms of quickly moving the puck out of the zone, it seems to be an underrated part of his game
“Overall I think our group does a really good job of responding to physical challenges and we can play any type of game. We try to play up-tempo in all facets of our game,” general manager Don Sweeney said.
“Dmitry and Garnet will add to that element. And again, we’re just trying to fortify and add to our team, to address the physicality or how we’re going to play.”
In the past, Orlov has shown the ability to be a shut-down defenseman, tasked with slowing down other teams’ top goal scorers. His consistent all-around play is a big boost to the Bruins back end.
It’s hard to find flaws on the Bruins roster, but if you told me the Bruins could only address one area of need, a left-shot defenseman would be it.
Orlov comes to Boston with a proven resume as a Stanley Cup winner and should have no problem shouldering the expectations that will come with being traded to the NHL’s Stanley Cup favorite.
The Bruins blueline is now crowded, a good problem to have. The addition of Orlov likely bumps Connor Clifton out of the mix, a good seventh defenseman to have. Throw in Jakub Zboril and the Bruins are well-equipped to sustain whatever adversity is thrown their way.
I fully expect Mason Lohrei to sign his entry-level deal when his season with Ohio State comes to an end. I thought there was a chance he could compete for that sixth/seventh spot on the Bruins blue line towards the end of the season, but that seems less likely now.
For Bruins fans that don’t know much about Garnet Hathaway, it should take all of one or two shifts for you to like him. He hits like a bus and has the ability to chip in offensively. He will be a perfect fit in the Bruins bottom-six. His 198 hits ranks eighth in the league this season.
Hathaway instantly makes the Bruins tougher to play against. He’s the type of player who change the swing of the game with a big hit, bringing the perfect amount of snarl to the table.
The 6-3, 208-pound Hathaway has 9-7-16 totals in 59 games. He can kill penalties when needed, adding another element to his game.
Sweeney managed to address the Bruins two biggest needs, doing so without moving any prospects including Fabian Lysell and the aforementioned Lohrei, both of whom should be contributing to the Bruins sooner rather than later.
“I think we were trying to attack two different areas,” Sweeney said. “Dmitry and Garnet can bring some attributes in our group. Now we try to stay healthy and take a run."
Sweeney wouldn’t rule out an additional move before next week’s trade deadline, but with just over $33K in cap space, he’ll have to get really creative if he wants to improve the Bruins roster any more.
The Bruins kick off their four-game road trip in Seattle tonight, of course neither Hathaway or Orlov will be in the lineup. It’s likely the two will join their new team in Vancouver where the Bruins play Saturday night.
With no extra forward on the trip, the Bruins will be forced to go with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen in Seattle, Zboril getting the call.