There are a couple of Americans in the NHL that I follow very closely. Of course, you guessed it: It’s about Jacob Slavin and his younger brother, Joshua Slavin, who was listed yesterday in Chicago.
Here is a story that comes to mind. When I first went to the Ovi & Co match in Washington, passed the metal detector and went down to the basement to the table with one-time badges, the club employee read my name in my passport and exclaimed:
– Oh, Mr. Slavin! Welcome!
Natural modesty did not allow me to ask the American, why is it such a great honor for an ordinary Russian reporter? Well, seriously, do people in the US capital start every morning with a study of “Soviet Sport”? But then I caught up. That night, the “capitals” took “Carolina”, and who is the main defender there? That’s right, Jacob Slavin! By the way, he scored even then, helping the guests to get two points a short distance from the White House.
But Joshua Slavin in the NHL is not doing well. At 24, the forward played just 15 games with Chicago, scoring just one point per assist. He was traded to Anaheim yesterday for Hunter Drew, whose NHL experience is limited to just two games. In such cases, they say, they stirred the awl into the soap. But all is not so simple. If all is clear with Joshua, then Hunter is a vigorous pepper. Not only is he ready to play both offense and defense, but his minor league record in terms of penalty minutes is impressive. Obviously, this 24-year-old Canadian was called to the Windy City to radically shake up the power component.
With Blackhawks captain, two-time Olympic champion and three-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Toews leaving hockey for good for health reasons, the popular club has no choice but to assemble a team from almost scratch. Additionally, Patrick Kane is also in the final season of an eight-year contract worth $10.5 million per year.
And how will the NHL reformat the team that has put together the entire resource? That’s right, with the help of an eraser, because the Enkhael franchises do not have their own schools for children. For that the day before yesterday they traded Nikita Zaitsev from Ottawa. Along with him, the Senators gave up a second-round pick in the 2023 draft and a fourth-round pick in 2026. But the main thing for the Canadians, nearly pressured to the salary cap, was getting rid of the Wings of Graduate’s difficult contract. the Soviets for $4.5 million, due next year.
Everyone was a winner after this deal.
Ottawa has cleared a spot for a new contract for leading forward Alex Debrinkat, taken from the same Chicago team for three picks in the draft. In addition, in the next championship, a four-year contract from our defender Artem Zub for 4.6 million per year (now 2.5 million) and a young eight-year-old (!) German striker Tim Stützle for 8.35 million ( now 925 thousand) be activated
The dilapidated Blackhawks, in addition to two draft picks, received an experienced 31-year-old defender in the person of Zaitsev for the right money, at least for the second pair. At the same time, Nikita may well close the blue line in the second special brigade of the majority. The Russian himself has a great chance to restart his career. In Ottawa, he was frankly not trusted: only 28 games this season. But the former CSKA defender made his NHL debut brilliantly – 36 (4 + 32) points for Toronto in the 2016/17 championship.
It’s more difficult with the Bruins trade for Dmitry Orlov. According to the defender himself, the news of the transfer to Boston shocked him. In fact, few people expected this, because rumors have been going around for a couple of weeks that our other defender, Vladislav Gavrikov, is about to pass to the Columbus “bears”. He has not played since February 12, since, according to the official version, he is prepared for the exchange and protected from the risk of injury.
It is quite possible that the parties did not agree to the terms of the deal, and the stingy “Boston” made a gentleman’s move: unexpectedly, unexpectedly, he took the second highest paid defender after Carlson from Washington. Yes, not one, but along with cocky forward Garnet Hathaway, the perfect corrector for the third or fourth row, and he also snapped up the rights to CSKA center Andrey Svetlakov. For me, the 26-year-old soldier is absolutely ripe for the NHL: if they call, you shouldn’t refuse.
It is curious that the owners of the “bears”, scrupulously counting every dollar, managed to reduce Orlov’s contract by 5.1 million per year in four times! Since Dmitry arrived in Boston as a result of a three-way trade for Minnesota, 2.55 million of the Russian’s salary remained in the payment of the Capitals, 1.275 million were taken by the “savages” and only 1.275 million went below the Bruins salary cap. .
In exchange, the Capitals acquired a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 third-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick, as well as 33-year-old center Craig Smith. Once in Nashville, the American twice scored more than 50 points. However, in this championship in Boston, he lost sharply: 10 (4 + 6) points in 42 games. There’s a powerful argument in favor of Smith: The past 10 seasons he’s always had positive utility.
Although Orlov was caught off guard by the news of the trade, for him, like Hathaway, there are only upsides. Both are in the final years of their contracts. Both need to show the face of the product here and now. And where is the best place to do it, if not on the strongest team in the regular season! The Bostonians have been leading since the fall and are unlikely to give up the front line to anyone, and this guarantees their ice advantage throughout the postseason.
With the Bruins, Dmitry may well get his second Stanley Cup, and this is a priori a fundamentally different price on the free agent market. In addition, it is possible that the 31-year-old Siberian will return to Washington. Indeed, this offseason, contracts expire for all (!) Defenders of the “capital”, except for Carlson himself. So everything is in the hands of Dmitry.
Well, the “Washingtons” are going through hard times. First, you need to get general manager Brian McLellan, who led the organization into a dead end, there. It all started with the fact that they could not keep champion coach Barry Trotz at the club. And then McLellan went madly into rejuvenating the roster, all the while paying crazy money to barely crawling veteran Backstrom: $46 million through 2025 and trading wooden forward Mantou from Detroit for an astronomical salary for his $5.7 million standard. Dollars. Nearly all of McLellan’s deals were unsuccessful.
The average age of the Capitals reached 30.4 years, and it turned out that in the absence of Ovechkin, there was no one to play. After five straight losses and being knocked out of the playoff zone, McLellan realized he needed to do something badly, otherwise he would finally get his ass kicked. So the mediocre manager pointed the finger at heaven. And what’s the point? Without Orlov and Hathaway, the hopeless Anaheim Outsiders were blown away at home today – 2:4.
Nikita and Dmitry in a new place – good luck! Vladislav in the reserve “Columbus” – endurance and patience.