2 Unexpected Trades In The Metropolitan Division In 2022-23

The Metropolitan Division had a good amount of movement close to the trade deadline this season as lots of teams were loading up for a deep playoff run. One team that surprised us was the division leading Carolina Hurricanes who made two lesser moves and arguably the wrong ones. The other involved the Washington Capitals.

The Hurricanes had a fair bit of cap space to work with after a season-ending injury to Max Pacioretty and didn't address the hole at second line center or add any scoring help. What they did do was acquire Jesse Puljujarvi with his full $3 million AAV contract. This was their only forward addition and they have made the same mistake as the Edmonton Oilers, playing him too high up in the lineup. He finally got his first point as a Hurricane in his 10th game. Why this was so unexpected was due to the need Carolina had for an impactful forward, and instead got someone who has struggled to score for a year and a half while taking on his full cap hit.

The other unexpected trade came between the Capitals and the Boston Bruins, sending Dmitry Orlov and Garnett Hathaway to the NHL's best team, indicating that the Capitals accepted their spot in the standings a couple weeks ahead of the deadline. Though they aren't rebuilding, the trade came as a shock because of its significance and timing. The Capitals have since fallen out of playoff contention but aren't eliminated just yet. This trade also wasn't a bad move, but set the stage for the Capitals to open their phones for more trades to come.

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