As we approach the NHL Trade Deadline this upcoming Monday at 3p ET the trades have begun to trickle in as names that have been rumored to be moved have. We’ve seen Tyler Toffoli traded to Vancouver by the Los Angeles Kings, and the New Jersey Devils dealt their captain and defenseman Andy Greene to their division rival New York Islanders, and forward Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning. And just today we saw the St. Louis Blues bolster their defensive corp by acquiring Marco Scandella from the Montreal Canadiens, and the Winnipeg Jets acquired defenseman Dylan DeMelo from Ottawa, but the trade that has everyone buzzing is the trade the Washington Capitals made with the San Jose Sharks as they aqcuired defenseman Brenden Dillon for two draft picks.
First before we look at the Capitals-Sharks trade, let’s look at the trades leading up to this one involving defensemen. On Sunday the Devils traded Greene to the Islanders for defensive prospect David Quenneville and a 2021 2nd Round pick. Then today the Senators traded DeMelo to the Jets for a 2020 3rd Round pick, and Montreal traded Scandella to the Blues for a 2020 2nd Rd pick, and a conditional 2021 4th Rd pick. The theme that you see here is that for defensemen, rental or long term, you’ll need to give up at least a 2nd or 3rd Round pick to get one.
Now for the Capitals trade with the Sharks, the Capitals would acquire Dillon from the Sharks for their 2020 2nd Round pick, and a conditional 2021 3rd Round pick. The condition for the 3rd Round pick is that if the Capitals win the Stanley Cup the Sharks will receives Arizona’s 2021 3rd Round pick instead of Washington’s. As for the Sharks, their general manager Doug Wilson made it known that if anyone wanted Dillon that they would have to give up a 2nd and a 3rd Round pick to acquire him. The Capitals obviously obliged.
Also, as noted in Pierre LeBrun’s tweet above, the Capitals were able to get the Sharks to retain 50% of Dillon’s contract. Dillon, who is in the final year of his contract, carries a cap hit of $1.635mil, and with the Sharks retaining half of the salary in the deal, that would be a benefit to the Capitals as well as they are tight along the salary cap currently.
So where will Dillon go in the Capitals lineup now is the big question many are wondering. Currently the Capitals defense pairings look like this:
John Carlson — Michal Kempny
Nick Jensen — Dmitry Orlov
Jonas Siegenthaler — Radko Gudas
With how our pairings are currently it would be best to take Jensen out of the lineup and put Dillon on the second pairing. While the Capitals defense has been struggling as of late, I wouldn’t breakup Carlson and Kempny, and Siegenthaler and Gudas. Those two pairings have been the more consistent pairs for the Capitals, while Jensen and Orlov have struggled this season together. One can say that Orlov’s struggles have been more direct to Jensen’s inability to truly fit in with the Capitals system. Sure these last few games he has stepped up, but he hasn’t been what we thought he would have been when they traded for him last season before the deadline from Detroit.
With us a few days away from the NHL Trade Deadline there is still a chance that another trade could happen, but it will be difficult due to the Capitals cap constraints, but only time will tell, and we’ll have to wait and see who else will be moved before Monday at 3p ET.
*Feature Graphic courtesy of the Washington Capitals