Just two years ago, the Boston Bruins traded away Tyler Seguin, this season’s fifth-best goal scorer despite missing 11 games. They received a package of players that would go on to have a varying degree of impact for the Bruins. One of the main pieces was winger Reilly Smith, who came over in the trade with the Dallas Stars. Now, Smith has been shipped to the Florida Panthers after one down year.
The trade makes sense for the Bruins. They will receive local product Jimmy Hayes, who seems to be trending upwards after a 19-goal season. The trade was basically straight up since Marc Savard, who was sent to the Panthers, has not played hockey since 2011 due to issues with concussions. Smith is coming off a season where his goal production dropped by 35 percent. Smith is in no way a lost cause, and the Panthers are very excited about his prospects.
However, there is something to be said about hitting a wall. Most seem to hit it during their rookie season, but Smith never seemed comfortable this past season. He wasn’t injured, missing only one game all season. He just didn’t seem like he felt confident, especially on the power play where his goals went from six to one.
A move away from Boston is the best thing for both Smith and the Bruins. If they can sign Hayes long-term, then they will have a local product who can play for the hometown team. Smith can now try to establish himself in one of the easiest media markets in the NHL. This is a win-win trade.
Now, smith has to produce again. If he doesn’t, he will cost himself a lot of money in free agency next season.