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Islanders can take advantage of Bruins cap crunch to acquire defense

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders - Game Six
Boston Bruins v New York Islanders - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Mike Reilly
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

Mike Reilly

Mike Reilly is another Bruins defenseman Lamoriello can attempt to pluck from the Bruins. His $3 million cap hit for the next two seasons is plenty manageable for the Islanders for the same reason as mentioned earlier with Grzelcyk. Reilly spent the majority of his time in the 2021-22 season playing top-four minutes with two different defense partners, Carlo and Charlie McAvoy.

The analytics really like Reilly as well as he owns an excellent 56.48 CF%, 52.27 GF%, and 57.87 xGF%. In terms of points, it wasn't Reilly's best season potting four goals and 17 points, but his ability to move the puck has been a strength of his. He's solid defensively and could open up the ice a little more for Dobson to move the puck up the ice and into the opponent's zone which could bode well for them as a pair.

The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa writes that the Bruins could acquire $3 million in cap space in exchange for a third-round pick for Reilly which seems more than reasonable, especially because he's another Bruins defenseman that just underwent surgery. His timeline is shorter, however, and he's projected to be ready for the start of the season. Shinzawa also admits GMs don't love to trade defensemen of Reilly's kind:

"No team likes trading defensemen, especially ones who skate well and move the puck. The blue line’s depth would be compromised. But the Bruins simply have too many left-shot defensemen, some of whom feature overlapping skill sets. "

Fluto Shinzawa

Reilly's deployment remained the same in the playoffs this season splitting time skating with both McAvoy and Carlo. He was much more successful on McAvoy's line than he was with Carlo in the playoffs which shows you a little more how well he can pair with a puck mover like Dobson.

Reilly is an attainable asset that shouldn't cost Lamoriello that much in return. The Islanders need defensemen and much like Grzelcyk, Reilly plays well in a defensive system and could fit well on the Islanders' blue line.

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