If the war for the Metro title ends up being a battle of attrition, then the Capitals just added a tank named Brenden Dillon. The Capitals landed Dillon in a trade that sends draft picks to the San Jose Sharks.
The official release confirms that the Sharks retained half of Dillon’s cap hit/salary ($3.27M) in the trade.
Capitals receive: Dillon (29, 50-percent of $3.27M AAV retained by Sharks)
Sharks get: Colorado’s 2020 second-round pick, a conditional 2021 third-rounder
Pierre LeBrun reports that these are the conditions for that third-rounder:
More details on the Dillon trade: In the event Washington wins the Stanley Cup then the Caps will give San Jose Arizona's 3rd RD pick in 2020 instead of Washington 3rd RD pick in 2021
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 18, 2020
Dillon adds beef to Capitals’ defense
Washington already boasted decent size on the blueline with John Carlson and Jonas Siegenthaler, but Dillon becomes the biggest blueliner. (Dillon is listed as 6-foot-4, 225 lbs.) Dillon scored one goal and 14 points in 59 games with the Sharks. He’s had a feisty season with 83 penalty minutes, only three short of his career-high already.
“Brenden is an experienced defenseman who plays a solid defensive game with a high compete level and physicality,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said. “We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group.”
MacLellan is right: Dillon stands out most as being a physical, pure defenseman. Hockey Viz and other metrics spotlight a player who brings a lot of defense, without much offense:
Considering the Capitals’ scoring capabilities, that seems like a smart addition. Ideally, he’ll make Washington more versatile for another postseason run.
This continues a run of the Capitals adding defensive help around deadline time.
- Last deadline, the Capitals landed Nick Jensen, who they swiftly extended.
- Heading into their Stanley Cup run, Washington unearthed a hidden gem in Michal Kempny. The Capitals also kept Kempny around beyond the initial trade.
- The Kevin Shattenkirk trade from the 2017 trade deadline didn’t work out as hoped, but it remains part of the pattern of spending on defense.
Will Dillon be another Jensen/Kempny-style addition who becomes more than a rental? That’s unclear, but either way, the Capitals added a big body. Meanwhile, the Sharks got some solid picks for their trouble.
MORE: PHT’s 2020 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.