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Capitals trade veterans Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway to Bruins

Defenseman Dmitry Orlov, right, talks with Nick Jensen during a game in Washington last month. Orlov was part of a three-team trade that landed him in Boston on Thursday. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
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Amid a five-game losing streak and dwindling playoff hopes, the Washington Capitals traded defenseman Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins as part of a three-team deal that brought three draft picks and forward Craig Smith.

In addition to Smith, 33, Washington acquired a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 third-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick.

As part of the deal, the Minnesota Wild initially acquired Orlov for forward Andrei Svetlakov and dealt him to Boston for a fifth-round pick. The Capitals, who retain half of Orlov’s $5.1 million salary, then traded Svetlakov to Boston. The Wild will retain 25 percent of Orlov’s salary.

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The move came less than an hour after Orlov and Hathaway were scratched from the lineup before Thursday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks — and signaled the direction the Capitals’ front office intends to go before next week’s NHL trade deadline. Both Orlov and Hathaway were set to hit free agency this summer. The Capitals now have six picks in the 2023 draft, including two in the first round.

“This trade allows us to acquire draft capital, infuse youth and restock our system,” Washington General Manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. “While this season has proven challenging with injuries to our significant players, we are in a position to use some of our current assets to retool our club and build a competitive team moving forward.”

The trade only bolsters the Bruins, owners of the league’s best record and a Stanley Cup favorite. Orlov is considered a top-four defenseman; Hathaway is a two-way bruiser who brings a physical presence.

Smith, who has 10 points in the past 42 games, is in the last season of a three-year deal with a $3.1 million cap hit. The Bruins waived Smith in December, but he rejoined the roster after going unclaimed. A former fourth-round draft pick, Smith played nine seasons in Nashville before joining the Bruins during the 2020-2021 campaign.

Orlov, 31, had become one of Washington’s most reliable players over the past several seasons, an unheralded part of the franchise’s aging championship core. Orlov was in the final season of a six-year deal.

After enduring a stint on injured reserve this season because of a lower-body injury, Orlov had returned to bring stability to a defensive corps that has been in flux since John Carlson was ruled out indefinitely after being in the side of the head with a puck in December. Orlov was the fourth-longest tenured Capitals player behind Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Carlson, whom he anchored the team’s top defensive pairing with for the past five seasons.

Orlov, taken 55th overall in the 2009 draft, was hopeful of finishing his career with the Capitals and was reportedly in talks with the team earlier this season about an extension.

“To be in the same spot for so long, it is home,” Orlov said last year. “We feel good as a family here. We will see what will happen.”

Hathaway, 31, had established himself as a strong locker room presence, and while his offensive numbers had dipped, he still played a crucial role as a physical fourth-line winger. He has nine goals and seven assists in 59 games.