With the Boston Bruins trading for Taylor Hall just over an hour after they acquired him from the Ottawa Senators, new Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly isn’t looking to make a splash on the ice; instead, he wants to become one of the team’s dependable, two-way rearguards that every team – especially this current Bruins squad – needs this time of year.
“I think I can help break the puck, and first and foremost, defend and play hard,” Mike Reilly told the Boston media just about 12 hours after the Bruins acquired him from the Sens for a 2022 third-round pick. “Then work itself out from there and try to be the fourth guy in the rush, make plays and be supportive with these skilled forwards. I’m definitely excited for that. I was killing some penalties and playing power play a bit in Ottawa here, so whatever’s asked of me, I’m excited to do.”
A fourth-round pick (98th overall), for the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Mike Reilly never played for the Jackets but has had stints with the Minnesota Wild (2015-16 to 2017-18), Montreal Canadiens (2017-18 to 2019-20) and the Senators for his last 70 NHL games. His career-high in regular-season games came in 2018-19 when he played 57 games for the Habs and had three goals and eight assists. So far, the 2021 season has been Reilly’s best as he had 19 assists in 40 games for the Senators. Now the Chicago native and former University of Minnesota standout will have a chance to build off that recent momentum.
“I think it’s gonna be a good opportunity here,” Reilly said. “I’m excited to get to work, hopefully just help break the team out here and whatever Bruce is asking me to do, I’m ready to do. Hopefully, I can play a lot of situations to help this team.”
Given the Bruins’ ever-growing injury list on their blueline this season, Mike Reilly will be asked to do a lot.