Capitals Caught Off Guard By Orlov & Hathaway Trade: ‘We’re Like Brothers’
The Washington Capitals react to the Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway trade, with Alex Ovechkin and more sharing their perspective on the deal.
WASHINGTON — As the Washington Capitals arrived at Capital One Arena for their Thursday meeting with the Anaheim Ducks, they found out that two of their teammates would be out of the lineup with Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway held out for trade-related reasons. Then, as the players suited up and got ready to take the ice for warmups, the trade announcement came out that Orlov and Hathaway were headed to Boston in a major pre-deadline deal.
It was a move that took the team off guard, and weighed heavily on the night in a 4-2 loss to the Ducks that extended the team's losing streak to six games.
"It's tough. That aspect of hockey is really hard. Guys in the room, we go through all the highs and lows, but it's hockey and we're like brothers in here," Nick Jensen said. "When you see guys no longer showing up in the locker room together, it's definitely hard. It can be somewhat of a distraction, but it's part of the game and it's something you've got to move on from.
"I don't think anyone was expecting it, for sure," he added.
Orlov had played 11 years up in D.C. and spent 14 years with the organization, playing 686 career games for the Capitals. He was also a longtime friend of captain and countrymate Alex Ovechkin, who said the trade was hard to take in before puck drop.
"It's sad. How I said, he was a good friend. We spend lots of time together here, on the road, family-wise. It's hard," Ovechkin said, also adding before that, "We still have a chance to make the playoffs… you never know what's going to happen, we just will continue to play. It sucks it just happened, but nothing we can do. We players, we have to play the game, and it's not our job to make a decision."
The deal sets the stage with just days to go until the NHL Trade Deadline on March 3, indicating that the Capitals could be sellers as general manager Brian MacLellan puts emphasis on building for the future. Washington currently sits one point out of the second Wild Card spot, but the team has not played convincing hockey and is still looking for its first win since Feb. 11 against the Bruins, where Orlov and Hathaway head now.
"You never like to see it… it's sad because they're a couple guys that we've kind of battled with all year long and a couple guys that have been here for a long time," Lindgren said. But I think the message in the locker room after it was we believe we still got a dressing room that can make something happen, that can push, so it's sad to see, hope the best for those guys."
Trevor van Riemsdyk agreed, saying that the team is still in the running for a playoff spot and that the trade doesn't impact the team's mindset going forward as Capitals look to remain in the race and clinch a berth for the ninth consecutive season. He also noted that it shouldn't have impacted the final score on Thurssday.
"We all feel like we're a playoff team. These were a huge two points that we let slip away," TVR said. "We're going to miss those guys. These They're great guys, they're great humans. Obvioulsy that's part of the business, and it's a sad part. It is what it is, but that's no excuse for not being able to find a way to win that game."