Reilly Smith: The Hidden Gem in the Seguin Trade

Reilly Smith: The Hidden Gem in the Seguin Trade

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Tom Kelly, Sports Writer

When the Boston Bruins shipped Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley off to Dallas during the off season, their big return was supposed to be Loui Eriksson.  Including myself, no one  expected a scrub like Reilly Smith (Who was packaged with Eriksson) to have a shred of a chance to make the team going into training camp.

But, guess what?  He shoved our stats right back in our face and made the team.

At that point, he was not expected to do very much.  I mean, he started the season on Chris Kelly’s right side on the third line.  Who would have expected that by late december he’d lead the team in goals with 15?  Who would have expected that by late december he’d be playing right wing on the Bergeron line?

At this point of the season, the big return of Tyler Seguin deal with the Dallas Stars has not been Loui Eriksson as advertised, but it has been Reilly Smith.

Why?  Why has Smith this much better than Eriksson?  Well, it’s two things.

First off, Loui Eriksson has battling issues with concussions this season courtesy of John Scott and Brooks Orpik.   So, he hasn’t  been given a chance to prove himself.

Conversely, when he does play, he is a non-factor on the ice.  With a horrid 5 goals and -3 rating in 24 games, Eriksson is certainly not living up to the hype.  He’ not terrible and he’s not great, and to me, that is the type of player you do not want on your hockey team  because while he’s not making your team any worse, he’s not making you any better either.  Having a player like Reilly Smith does make your team better.

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With Smith, you regain that speed on the right side that Seguin had and of course his scoring touch.  As a bonus, he is not a softy like Seguin and Eriksson are.

To me, Reilly Smith has been the complete package that Loui Eriksson was promised to be, and when Eriksson comes back, I really hope the Bruins wise up and drop him to the third line and keep Smith where he is.

At this juncture of the season, when points are at a premium, you need a player who makes your team better like Reilly Smith.