The Montreal Canadiens have traded Mike Reilly to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round pick and minor league forward Andrew Sturtz. The Canadiens then turned around and acquired a defenseman of their own in another deal.
Reilly, 26, hasn’t been able to establish himself as a full-time option for the Canadiens this season, despite some strong play last year for them when the team was dealing with injuries. Re-signed last June to a two-year, $3MM deal, the Senators will get some cost certainty in their new defender as they try to rebuild a defense corps.
In Ottawa, Reilly comes to a group that has dealt with injury after injury this season with the likes of Nikita Zaitsev, Ron Hainsey and Dylan DeMelo all going down for long stretches. With the latter two also scheduled for unrestricted free agency—along with Mark Borowiecki—there will be opportunity for Reilly to really set himself up as an everyday player.
Getting a fifth-round selection back for Reilly essentially replaces the pick they traded to the Minnesota Wild in 2018 to get him in the first place, and adds to the huge total that Montreal has amassed for the next few drafts. The Canadiens also clear a contract off the books for next season as Sturtz will be a restricted free agent and could very well go unqualified.