If the hockey world is jealous of the historic season the Boston Bruins are on pace for, the team’s recent trade for Dmitry Orlov might push people over the edge. After being linked to several high-profile defensemen on bottom-ranked teams, the Bruins surprised many by calling upon a conference rival to land two impact players.
Ultimately, the Bruins had to stay under the cap of $83.5 million, so they called upon the Minnesota Wild to assist in their acquisition with the Washington Capitals. Similarly, the Toronto Maple Leafs did the same last week with their addition of Ryan O’Reilly.
|Bruins Acquire||Capitals Acquire||Wild Acquire|
|Dmitry Orlov (D)||Craig Smith (C)||Fifth-Round Pick (2023)|
|Garnet Hathaway (RW)||First-Round Pick (2023)||Pay 25% of Orlov’s Salary|
|Andrei Svetlakov (Signing rights)||Second-Round Pick (2024)|
|Pay 25% of Orlov’s Salary||Third-Round Pick (2025)|
|Retain 50% of Orlov’s Salary|
As the NHL rich continue to get richer, there are surprisingly a couple of losers in this trade, so let’s evaluate another blockbuster hockey trade.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NHL trade rumors
Winner: The 2022-23 Boston Bruins go all in for the Stanley Cup
If anyone had yet to pay attention to the historical season the Bruins are having, the team is close to finishing February with less than 10 losses. Furthermore, after Thursday’s shocking trade with the Capitals, the Bruins added depth on the blue line and their bottom six.
Dmitry Orlov recently won a Stanley Cup in 2018 and will be one of four members with that level of experience in the lineup. Although Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci all own rings from 2011, they represent the old guard, so a fresh perspective can assist in getting the club through the tough grind of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Hathaway is more than just an afterthought in the deal since he will be a great addition to the third or fourth line. Despite failing to produce at the same level this season, the Bruins should expect him to create magic with Taylor Hall, Nick Foligno, and Trent Frederic.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NHL power rankings
Loser: The NHL Eastern Conference, especially the Atlantic Division
The Bruins are the favorites to win the Presidents’ Trophy for the league’s best record and claim the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Realistically, the Carolina Hurricanes remain their most significant threat to both spots since they are the only other team in the league with more than 80 points.
Despite the recent trade activity of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the stability of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Bruins remain the top team and only improved their chances of success with Thursday’s additions. Although there weren’t many holes in the Bruins’ game, despite the recent mini-slump, if anyone had any questions about the team’s direction, general manager Don Sweeney set out to silence the critics with Orlov and Hathaway.
Even though there is time for contending teams to make up ground in the next week, the Bruins have put the conference on notice. Additionally, whoever wants to represent the East in the Stanley Cup Final must go through Boston.
Winner: The Minnesota Wild lose some cap space, pick up draft picks
Anyone who watches the Minnesota Wild must be curious how the team continues to be involved in blockbuster trades, yet there have been no changes to the lineup. Wild general manager Bill Guerin has recently been busy acquiring prospects and draft picks while surrendering some of their cap space.
Although the Wild are fighting for a Western Conference wild-card spot, they have time to swap all these recently acquired draft picks for a player to make an impact today. Moreover, they are not concerned about money because they keep taking on portions of contracts while stockpiling options for the future.
Whether Guerin has an elaborate plan for right now or next season, he’s silently becoming the hero of this year’s deadline. As his team flexes its financial muscles, they set a trend that others will eventually follow when dealing away big dollar contracts.
Loser: NHL star defensemen linked to the Boston Bruins after Dmitry Orlov trade
The NHL rumor mill is never quiet, and the moment a player sits due to “trade-related reasons,” the buzz is electrifying. According to many rumors, the Bruins were going to acquire Arizona Coyote defenseman Jakob Chychrun, who is currently sitting for the second straight week.
Although that deal never came to fruition, the rumors turned to Columbus, where the Bruins showed interest in Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. Consequently, despite no impending trade, he’s also been a healthy scratch for a few games.
Furthermore, no one is saying that Sweeney can’t go out and acquire either or both of these players. Still, if today’s transaction with the Capitals is any indication, he’s out of the Chychrun and Gavrikov pursuit. Ultimately, these two elite-level defensemen may not find themselves on the Stanley Cup favorite but can see themselves lineup against the team that didn’t pick them.