The Boston Bruins continue their path to a record-breaking season as they’ve notched 47 wins through 60 games. With their incredible season, hockey pundits are beginning to wonder if the elusive 62-game regular season win record would be shattered. Currently, the Bruins are on pace for 64 wins, as well as 135 points, which would also break the previous record held by the Montreal Canadiens (132). Putting the gaudy statistics aside, this Bruins season is special due to the resurgence of older veterans and an infusion of talent (looking at you, David Pastrňák). With the Friday trade deadline rapidly approaching, many fans wanted to see Don Sweeney trade for either Patrick Kane or Jakob Chychrun. Personally, I was in the minority of fans, since a trade for a high-profile player would greatly disrupt the team’s robust chemistry; to my surprise, Sweeney wasn’t tempted by the beckoning calls of the fanbase and made arguably the most efficient trade of his tenure.
On Feb. 23, the Bruins became involved in a three-team trade and acquired physical forward Garnet Hathaway and versatile defender Dmitry Orlov from the Washington Capitals. In return, Washington received aging forward Craig Smith and three future draft picks. On paper, many casual fans would scoff at the lopsided draft haul the Bruins forked over for two under-the-radar players. However, the silver lining is indeed the most important piece: Both Orlov and Hathaway provide much-needed depth to the team, as Orlov has the versatility to play on all three defensive pairs. Hathaway, currently slotted as the right winger of the fourth line, gives the Bruins an extra spark during the postseason. In an injury-prone sport such as hockey, depth is extremely vital during a long playoff run, as injuries can pile up and derail a team’s title chances. With these two acquisitions, the queasy feeling of an inevitable injury should subside.
While having an abundance of prospects and draft picks is beneficial in the sport, giving the Capitals three draft picks isn’t as substantial as it seems. For the most part, many draft picks in the NHL Draft don’t pan out as impactful players. Sure, a “diamond-in-the-rough” prospect is unearthed once every few years, but the chance of discovering one is relatively low. Bruins fans shouldn’t fret over the loss of a few draft picks, as Orlov and Hathaway are able to produce immediately for this squad.
In their three games on the roster, Hathaway and Orlov have combined for 6 total points, catapulting the Bruins through a treacherous West Coast road trip. Their impact is already noticeable and the team hasn’t skipped a beat following their additions. Between now and Friday’s deadline, I’d be shocked if the Bruins’ management does any more roster maneuvers in addition to yesterday’s trade for forward Tyler Bertuzzi; the team is perfect as is. If the Boston Bruins — knock on wood — raise Lord Stanley in June, it will be partially due to the perfect execution by the Bruins management before the 2023 trade deadline.