Subban: Bruins 'impossible to beat' after trade for Orlov, Hathaway

Dmitry Orlov

The rich just got richer.

The Boston Bruins boast the NHL's best record at 44-8-5 and are on pace to have the best regular-season in NHL history. But that didn't stop general manager Don Sweeney from improving his roster Thursday, acquiring defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals in a significant pre-deadline trade.

Sweeney paid a high price, parting with right wing Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick to land Orlov and Hathaway. But the move should only bolster the Bruins' chances to win a Stanley Cup in June.

Why the Bruins' trade for Orlov, Hathaway could be a home run

Former NHL defenseman (and Bruins nemesis) P.K. Subban was among many who praised the trade for Boston in a gushing commentary Thursday night on ESPN2's "The Point."

"Those are the players that they need," Subban said of Orlov and Hathaway. "(The Bruins) round out their bottom-six players; they have a fourth-line guy now with experience who's won a Stanley Cup and has played with Stanley Cup winners in Washington who can come and slide in with A.J. Greer, Nick Foligno and their fourth-line guys, Trent Frederic.

"But Dmitry Orlov, this is a top-four defenseman. And you have that guy slide into an already good defensive team that can add offense -- he can be your best defenseman on any night. But joining Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm, I mean, the Boston Bruins look like a team that's impossible to beat."


The Bruins now have a seasoned veteran in their bottom-six forward group with Hathaway, who has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) this season despite having the lowest offensive zone faceoff percentage (18.25) in the league among players with 500-plus minutes at 5-on-5. Smith had just four goals and six assists to date, so Hathaway is a clear upgrade at right wing who will also add toughness and postseason experience.

As Subban noted, the Bruins also landed a legitimate top-four defenseman in Orlov, who likely will skate with McAvoy as Boston's No. 1 d-pairing. The 31-year-old is averaging more than 22 minutes of ice time per game and is a quality puck mover who can contribute on both the penalty kill and the power play.

The Bruins boast the NHL's second-best offense (214 goals scored) and have allowed at least 26 fewer goals (120) than any team in hockey, so you could argue they didn't need to add ahead of the deadline. But with other Stanley Cup contenders like the Toronto Maple Leafs making moves to bolster their roster, Sweeney and Co. decided to take action, and the result was a trade that makes the best team in the NHL even better.