By: Sam Minton | Follow me @sam_minton22
Along with Taylor Hall, Mike Reilly was one of the steals of the trade deadline for the Boston Bruins. He came out of the gate firing and was a solid addition to Boston’s blueline. Boston acquired Reilly from the Ottawa Senators for a 2022 third-round draft pick. He spent two seasons with the Sens and, in 70 games, racked up a goal and 30 assists with a +/- of -10.
While that might seem bad, Bruins fans should remember that he was playing on the Senators. He does deserve some slack. Reilly came to Boston and fit in right away. In his first six games, he racked up four assists. Besides that, Reilly energized the roster with his hitting-ability and being a quality defenseman in his own zone.
The playoffs were a little bit of a different story for Reilly. In Boston’s two series, he tallied four assists with a personal rating of +3. Compared to his lightning-hot start at the trade deadline, Reilly seemed to come down to Earth. This leaves Boston and Don Sweeney with some tough decisions to make. Reilly could now become an unrestricted free agent if the Bruins and the defenseman don’t strike a deal before July 28th.
With Kevan Miller also deciding to hang up his skates, the blue line has gotten even thinner. When you add in the fact that Jeremy Lauzon was selected in the expansion draft by Seattle, Boston needs to make a move. This has led to the Bruins being linked to multiple defensemen leading up to free agency. The B’s are doing their due diligence. When speaking to the media, GM Don Sweeney stated that Boston has been in constant communication with the left-shot D-man.
Ty Anderson of 98.5 the Sports Hub also added some more details to Sweeney’s comments. Boston’s GM said, “We haven’t found a finish line there, but we thought highly of Mike and what he added to our group. We’ll continue to talk there and see what might transpire. He had some options too, and they want to explore that, but certainly, we’ll be in touch with that.”
Reilly himself also mentioned that he enjoyed his time in Boston. “I think it’s mutual [interest] right now, between us, to try and get something done,” Reilly said last month. “I definitely want to stay here, for sure. There have been some talks, but since day one, it’s been an easy transition for me to come in and just get used to everything, how they run the ship down here. It’s been great so far, and hopefully, stuff can work out.”
With Hall taking a pay cut to stay with the organization, there is a chance that Reilly might do the same to stay in Boston. If that’s the case, the Bruins should seriously consider bringing Reilly back. He is just 28-years-old and still has some quality hockey ahead of him.
The key for the organization is how much it will end up costing the Bruins and if they would still be able to make some moves to improve the roster after ensuring that Reilly stays in Boston. If Sweeney still has some cash to spend, bringing Reilly back would be a quality move.