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2023 NHL Trade Deadline

Capitals Trade Deadline: Breaking Down All Moves & Transactions

The Washington Capitals held a sell-off ahead of the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. Here is a breakdown of all the moves.



ARLINGTON, V.A. — For the first time in a long time, it was a sell-off for the Washington Capitals going into the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline.

General manager Brian MacLellan shipped several assets with the team focusing on building for the future and monitoring their contracts and pending free agents, and the team established to the rest of the league that it was open for business until Friday at 3 p.m. ET.

Now, the team is done, with the roster looking a lot different.

Here is a breakdown of all the moves:

Washington Capitals Trade Deadline Deals

Thursday, Feb. 23: Washington Capitals & Boston Bruins

Capitals trade to Bruins: Dmitry Orlov & Garnet Hathaway

Capitals acquire from Bruins: 2024 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick, 2025 second-round pick, forward Craig Smith

The Capitals made their trade and shook the league a bit, sending defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 third-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and forward Craig Smith.

Orlov was eating major minutes and mainly taking on the role as the No. 1 blueliner with John Carlson out long-term, and Hathaway was physical and fundamental in helping form one of the stronger fourth lines in the league alongside Nic Dowd. Both were also strong penalty killers.

TRADE ANALYSIS: Why The Washington Capitals Traded Dmitry Orlov & Garnet Hathaway

They were one of the team's 12 pending UFAs. Orlov reportedly wanted a seven-year extension, while Washington wasn't willing to go past three or four years. That led to a deal becoming "impossible" and Orlov and Hathaway being shipped out. Hathaway, 31, also didn't have a guaranteed future in D.C. with the team having players like Beck Malenstyn already in the system able to play his role.

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Washington Capitals & Minnesota Wild

Capitals trade to Wild: Marcus Johansson

Capitals acquire from Wild: 2024 third-round pick

Washington shipped out another pending free agent and chose to say goodbye to longtime forward Marcus Johansson. The 32-year-old, who originally played for the organization from 2009 to 2017 and returned at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, ranked third on the team in goals and was playing top-6 minutes and getting time on the power play. Johansson was on a one-year deal with a cap hit of $1.1 million.

With that deal, Minnesota added to its forward depth, and the Capitals got another pick to work with in 2024.

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Washington Capitals & Toronto Maple Leafs

Capitals trade to Maple Leafs: Erik Gustafsson and Boston's 2023 first-rounder

Capitals acquire from Maple Leafs: Rasmus Sandin

With John Carlson originally being the only blueliner signed past 2023, Washington needed to address its pending free agents on defense. And although Erik Gustafsson expressed his desire to stay, MacLellan made the difficult decision to part ways with the blueliner, who had been a bright spot and a major surprise for D.C. and expressed his desire to stay before the deal. His 31 assists and 38 points had led all Capitals defenseman as he provided offense and took on a bigger role with Carlson out long-term.

READ MORE ON WHN: Sandin Opens Up About Trade To Washington Capitals, Hopes To Earn Major Role

In return, the team brought in Sandin, a 22-year-old left-handed defenseman who is a strong skater with a high hockey IQ and a good first pass. He is still young and growing into his game, plays well under pressure and has the potential to put up points, and he is also signed past this season, giving the team more youth and depth on the blue line.

Wednesday, March 1: Washington Capitals & Colorado Avalanche

Capitals send to Avalanche: Lars Eller

Capitals acquire from Avalanche: 2025 second-round pick

For Washington, Eller's name had been coming up in discussions and speculation for a while, and on Wednesday, a deal finally happened as the Dane was sent West in exchange for a 2025 second-round draft pick. The Capitals are retaining 31 percent of his salary.

Eller was another pending UFA whose future with the club was doubtful. The Dane, who made a mark in D.C. as a hero during the 2018 Stanley Cup run and had an impressive seven-year tenure, had seen his production drop off and experienced inconsistency this season, and also took quite a few penalties. Still, he was strong in the face-off dot, versatile at both ends and also killed penalties.

Washington Capitals Pre-Deadline Contracts/Decisions/Transactions

Nick Jensen inked a three-year, $12.15 million extension on Tuesday night, ensuring top-4 depth beyond this season. His new deal carries an AAV of $4.05 million.

– The Capitals also inked Ryan Hofer to an entry-level contract.

– On Thursday, Washington signed Hershey Bears winger Ethen Frank to a one-year, two-way contract beginning in 2023-24.

– With just over an hour left until the deadline, the Capitals recalled defensemen Vincent Iorio and Gabriel Carlsson from the AHL's Hershey Bears and re-assigned Dylan McIlrath.

– Aliaksei Protas was also loaned to the Bears to help with the four-recall rule following the deadline.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel has signed a one-year extension to remain in D.C.

– Washington fielded offers for Conor Sheary and Trevor van Riemsdyk. However, MacLellan chose to decline those offers, seeing more upside in keeping them for the final 19 games and potentially extending them beyond this season.

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