Did the Capitals steal the trade deadline?

Has Capitals done the trade deadline theft?


Hockey fans only had eyes for Patrick Kane, Jakob Chychrun and Ryan O'Reilly before the trade deadline, but the Washington Capitals may be the team that made it happen the most smoking blow. 

General manager Brian MacLellan surprised many by liquidating his veterans Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway. The first-round pick he acquired from the Boston Bruins, however, was repurposed in a surprise trade days later.

MacLellan then landed 23-year-old defenseman Rasmus Sandin , of the Toronto Maple Leafs, in return for veteran Erik Gustafsson and the selection of the “Oursons”.

Head coach Peter Laviolette immediately granted an important role to the Swede… and he does not didn't regret it.

In his first game with the Caps, Sandin had three assists in an 8-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. He added more two days later, registering a goal and an assist against the Los Angeles Kings.

Never used more than 23 minutes in a game by the Leafs, the 2018 first-round pick played a whopping 29:58 on the ice in a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. He still managed to maintain a +2 differential.

Lots on the cheap

In the absence of veterans John Carlson and Nick Jensen, Sandin is being used all over the place by his head coach. He shares the first numerical superiority unit with Alexander Ovechkin and the first defensive brigade pair with Trevor van Riemsdyk.

Sandin will earn a small annual salary of $1.4 million until the conclusion of the 2023-2024 campaign. He will then become a restricted free agent.

If the Bruins don't collapse by the end of the season, they should easily get their hands on the Presidents' Trophy. Their first-round selection should thus be around the 28th round or possibly further.

Considering that the Capitals have potentially got their hands on one of their future players in return for a defender of support and a late first-round selection ー that historically guarantees no success ー, we can only tip our hats to GM MacLellan.