The Boston Bruins weren’t involved in Tuesday’s pre-NHL Trade Deadline frenzy, but that doesn’t mean they’re still not trying to wheel and deal.
The NHL betting odds that the Boston Bruins will make another major trade are slim to none at this point but that doesn’t mean they won’t take care of some salary cap accounting and minor roster moves.
Not surprisingly, amidst the craziness on the NHL trade market on Tuesday, multiple NHL sources told Boston Hockey Now that the Bruins were still trying to find a new home for defenseman Mike Reilly. Reilly has been buried in the AHL playing for the Providence Bruins since November due to salary cap constraints and team depth on the blue line, but as he recently showed with a five-point night (3g, 2a), for the P-Bruins this past Sunday, the 29-year-old rearguard has still got some game.
“There are teams interested in Reilly. …I’m hearing Anaheim, Chicago, and you always gotta include Arizona,” the source said of the recent NHL trade chatter. “I know the Bruins have let him know that they want to help him get a chance to play regularly in the NHL again since it can’t happen in Boston with their cap situation and blue line set.”
Mike Reilly is in the penultimate season of a three-year, $9 million ($3M AAV), contract, and the Bruins have been trying to move him on the NHL trade market all season, as well as via the NHL waiver wire twice. The Bruins waived Reilly, along with Nick Foligno and Chris Wagner just prior to the beginning of the 2022-23 regular season. All three cleared, and Reilly and Foligno stayed on the NHL roster, while Wagner reported to Providence. Reilly would play ten games and notch just one assist for the Bruins before finally being waived again on November 9 and then sent back down to Providence the following day.
As Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely acknowledged to NESN on Monday night the Bruins have basically pocket change in cap space ($312,000) to utilize before the NHL trade deadline at noon on Friday.
“I’m still very happy with our group and where we’re at. We still have some time to maybe tinker. We’ll look at that,” said Boston Bruins President Cam Neely to NESN prior to Monday night’s game in Edmonton. “It’s a lot of gymnastics going on with the cap but we did give ourselves the opportunity to add if we wanted to.”
As my colleague Joe Haggerty pointed out here last night, if the Bruins can make the cap space work, names like Arizona Coyotes center Nick Bjugstad or Chicago Blackhawks center Max Domi could make sense as depth moves. The aforementioned source above did note to BHN that had heard Bruins general manager would also like to add ‘as much D depth as he can’.
NHL betting experts would advise to bet on the Bruins standing pat, but with just over 48 hours until the NHL trade deadline, Neely, Sweeney and the Bruins still may have a few surprises up their sleeve.