Breaking News - Washington Capitals scratching multiple players for 'trade related reasons'

Published February 23, 2023 at 5:32 PM

Just hours before tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks, the Washington Capitals released surprising scratches in their opening lineup. Forward Garnet Hathaway and defenceman Dmitry Orlov will be scratched tonight due to an imminent trade.

Hathaway is in his fourth season with the Capitals and on the final year of a contract that pays him $1.5M per year. Hathaway is physical forward, who likely won't put up much points, but will give his team an added physical edge in the playoffs. Likewise, Orlov is also signed to a $5.1M expiring contract, and is a physical, stay-at-home defencman with a thunderous slap shot, and can be an extremely effective player in the playoffs.

It's surprising news for a Capitals team that has never sold at the deadline in the Ovechkin era. Knowing this year likely wasn't the right mix, the Capitals seem intent on selling off their pending free-agent players, recouping assets, and likely trying again next year to make a long playoff run. As long as the team has Ovechkin, they have committed to never rebuilding.

Many contending teams will be interested in these players, particularly because they could come with a low acquisition cost. Orlov may be tricky to move with a sizeable contract, but if the Capitals are willing to retain his salary only for this season, his contract could come at a very palatable number. Expect contending teams who haven't made acquisitions yet to be in on these players, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, and the Edmonton Oilers.
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