The Boston Bruins improved their defense corps with one of the most astute moves of the 2021 NHL trade season.
On the eve of this year's deadline, Boston acquired Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick, the Senators confirmed Sunday.
Reilly has quietly been a bright spot for the Senators in another rebuilding year for the franchise, with solid underlying numbers to suggest that he'd certainly help a Stanley Cup contender, and the Bruins are no exception. The 27-year-old carries a 52.19 Corsi For percentage, a 53.11 Fenwick For percentage and a 51.33 expected goals for percentage, suggesting that his quality of shot creation and possession has been a tremendous benefit to a Senators team, that aside from Thomas Chabot, lacks any quality on the blue line.
In 40 games, Reilly has 19 assists while still looking for his first goal of the season.
Boston approached the deadline with over $6 million in trade deadline cap space, and it's a clever move to add Reilly, a cost-effective, left-shot blueliner with a contract set to expire. Reilly will certainly command a raise from his current $1.5 million per year salary, but the Bruins likely wouldn't have traded for him if they felt they couldn't sign him long-term this summer.
Charlie McAvoy is listed as day-to-day, while Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk and John Moore are on injured reserve, and while Boston's blueline resembles an infirmary ward, Reilly provides immediate help to keep the Bruins in the thick of the hotly contested East Division playoff race.
In many respects, the trade to the Bruins constitutes a reward for Reilly's breakout season. This is a strong move for the Bruins, both for the immediate impact and long-term outlook. They may not be done yet, much to the chagrin of opposing teams everywhere.
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