BOSTON – It didn’t take long for the Boston Bruins to react after getting shellacked by the Washington Capitals, 8-1, with a patchwork defensemen corps pieced together due to injuries. Less than an hour after the game was over, the Bruins sent a 2022 third round pick to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for left-handed Sens defenseman Mike Reilly.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Reilly has 19 assists in 40 games along with a minus-2 rating this season for the Senators and has 244 games of NHL experience with stops through the Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens and Sens prior to the trade to Boston. The 27-year-old Reilly was teammates with Bruins third line center Charlie Coyle during his three seasons playing for the Wild from 2015-2018. It was wise for Bruins general manager Don Sweeney to get the deal done ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline given the need for an established, low-cost NHL defenseman on the left side.
After adding Reilly ($1M Cap Hit, $362K for remainder of year), the #NHLBruins have $800K of Projected Cap Space, worth $3.3M Annual Cap Hit now.
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) April 12, 2021
The Bruins were believed to have been interested in Detroit Red Wings D-man Jon Merrill as well, but he was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens earlier on Sunday afternoon for a 2022 fifth round pick and a prospect. It remains to be seen when Reilly will be in a Boston Bruins uniform given the US/Canada quarantine protocols for COVID, but the B’s could use him as soon as possible given injuries to Brandon Carlo (upper body) and Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) that will keep them out of Tuesday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.
The Bruins expect Kevan Miller (load management) to be back on Tuesday, and the hope is that Charlie McAvoy (upper body) will be able to play against the Sabres as well.
The 27-year-old Reilly will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so this will be a rental deal for the Bruins to establish some NHL depth on the defense’s left side that’s been depleted since Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara left in free agency this fall.