News began to break just as Washington Capitals players were arriving at Capital One Arena for tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway had been traded to the Boston Bruins for draft picks and forward Craig Smith.
“It’s sad. Great teammates, good friends, good players,” said captain Alex Ovechkin, following the Capitals 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. “That’s hard…it’s a business, it’s life, so I wish them luck and we have to move on.”
Ovechkin’s teammates echoed his sentiments. It’s a sad part of the business, but the team has to move on and try to win hockey games.
“It’s tough. That aspect of hockey is really hard,” said Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen. “Guys in this room, we go through all the highs and lows that is hockey. We’re like brothers in here. When you see guys no longer showing up in the locker room together, it’s definitely hard and it can be somewhat of a distraction. It’s part of the game, and it’s something you got to move on from.”
As noted, the timing of the trade came just before the start of tonight’s game against the Ducks. While the news may have come as a shock to the players, players agreed they still needed to win a hockey game.
”Obviously it’s sad to see. Two really great guys. Great guys in the room, great players, but that’s no excuse for what we did there.” said Trevor van Riemsdyk, referring to the Capitals 4-2 loss to the Ducks. “Obviously we’re gonna miss those guys, because they’re great people, great humans. Obviously that’s part of the business and its a sad part, and it is what it is, but that’s no excuse.”
Capitals bench boss Peter Laviolette was more direct in addressing the trades as a part of the business of hockey.
“I think it’s part of the business. That doesn’t mean it’s easier,” said Laviolette following the game. “I think it happens with all teams around the league. It’s part of the business of the game. I think the guys know that. That’s a side bar. We needed to play a hockey game and we needed to win a game and we didn’t get it done.”
The Capitals will try to end their now six-game losing streak on Saturday when they host the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 1PM ET.
It’s a business- they gotta move on.
I’ve seen it in the other games: there’s something incredibly sad about coming to the end of something. The players know something is ending and that now, the inevitable sell-off is beginning. Players they love even more may yet be on the move. And I thought you could see the confusion and even despair in how they played. No, they didn’t have to win that game. The team are sellers now and for the good of the franchise, losing is quite acceptable. And the players our human and should not be asked to stop being human. They will move on but this transition will be a deeply sad one and one that for the team and all the players — no matter where they land — will find them in happier times again.
I can’t help but feel the timing was just terrible. I mean it was going to hurt no matter what, and trades are going to happen when they are going to happen, but can’t help feel it impacted the game tonight. Just a personal gut feeling, listening to postgame interviews, etc. I thought Vogs even asked a question along those lines. Players say the right thing, but what’s really going on is another story.
I’ve been impressed by the character of the team this year. They’ve played under a lot of adversity. They won almost every game there for a long stretch. They have a lot of heart. They just don’t have enough skill anymore to put away games. Lavi’s style has its pros and cons. The system could be better, in my view, but no system could really fix things this year.
I’m really happy that BMac and Co. are realistic about the roster right now. Make shrewd trades. Load up on prospects. Sign a couple of UFAs in the summer. Add the better prospects from Hershey. Next year can be better. I’m optimistic.
Best wishes to these two.
Orlov really made himself into a good defenseman. He had the tools when he was young but he made a lot of gaffes. The last 4-5 years he’s been excellent all over the ice.
Hathaway has been a beast on the 4th line since he got here. A great signing for BMac. He hits, he scraps, he scores a bit, he plays D, he pesters.
We’ll miss both guys a lot. But you just have to acquire draft picks for UFAs when your team gets older. I’m ecstatic that BMac is realistic about the team this year. Load up on draft picks. Give the Hershey kids a chance. And fill in the roster with a few free agents over the summer. We can compete for a playoff spot next season with younger players.
It does hurt to move on from your favorite players. No doubt.
You said it Lance.🙂
Spot on, Lance. I remember pulling my hair out over his goofs in the early years. He really did come around.
Puck drop is 1300 not 1500 🙂
Thank you Hath for being a great player, and a great part of our community. The ACFD certainly appreciates you! Best of luck in Bean town!
Wished nothing but good fortunes for these two. Quality characters during their time in DC