Players continue to be on the move in advance of the Feb. 24 NHL Trade Deadline, as the Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2021 third round pick.
Dillon off to DC
In Dillon, the Capitals are getting a veteran defenseman who will be given the opportunity to play a key role on a team that’s first in the Metropolitan Division with a 37-17-5 record and looks primed for a deep Stanley Cup run.
“We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,” Capitals’ general manager Brian MacLellan said.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Dillon has suited up for 588 career games between the Dallas Stars and the San Jose Sharks, where he’s played since the 2014-15 season. Over his career, he’s amassed 22 goals and 92 assists for 114 points; this season, he has one goal and 13 assists and 83 penalty minutes in 59 games.
Dillon obviously loved playing in San Jose — he got emotional after last night’s 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers, knowing it could be his last game as a Shark — but will now get a chance to win the first Cup of his career with the Capitals.
Dillon is on the last season of a five-year deal that pays him $3.27 million annually, and the Sharks will retain 50 per cent of his salary. He will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1 if he doesn’t re-sign with the Capitals before that.
Sharks Embracing Rebuild
In exchange for Dillon, the Sharks acquire from the Capitals a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft that was originally held by the Colorado Avalanche and the Capitals’ 2021 third-rounder.
If the Capitals win the Stanley Cup this season, the Sharks will get a 2020 third-round pick from the Capitals that the D.C. team got from the Arizona Coyotes instead of the 2021 pick.
The Sharks, now well-behind in the Western Conference wild card race at three games below .500 and without Erik Karlsson for the rest of the season due to a broken thumb, have signalled with the trade they know they won’t be contenders this season and would rather acquire future assets. They now possess 13 picks for June’s upcoming draft in Montreal.
Dillon is the second blueliner to be traded today; earlier Tuesday, the Winnipeg Jets acquired Dylan DeMelo from the Ottawa Senators.