There’s been a slight change in scheduling as I attempt to wrap up my responses to the mailbag questions, so in the meantime it’s time for a brief return to the Pierre Dorion’s Best Trade Tournament. The last matchup saw Max McCormick’s departure edge its way into the quarterfinals over the acquisition of Alex Burrows; it was hardly a high-profile matchup. Today, though, another one of the tournament contenders takes to the battlefield. There’s probably not even a need to post a poll…
When this trade was made, people thought Pierre Dorion was acquiring quantity rather than quality for a superstar asset. Hindsight suggests that he acquired both quantity AND quality for an asset about to lose significant value due to injury concerns. The perfect storm that has occurred since this deal was completed makes it look infinitely better than it did in September 2018, and nobody in Ottawa is complaining about it. Chris Tierney has been a solid NHL producer for the Senators. Dylan DeMelo established himself as one of the league’s most underrated defenders prior to being moved. Josh Norris turned every head possible in the American Hockey League this year. Rudolfs Balcers remains tremendously promising. Oh, and then there’s that 2020 first-round pick still to come. If the NHL’s reported move to the old lottery system is true, that pick will be a top-four selection in what is widely viewed as an exceptionally strong draft. Trading Karlsson was always going to be a franchise-defining move for Pierre Dorion. A little bit of luck seems to have made it a superb one. Few would have predicted that Norris would develop in the way that he has, and that the Sharks would be bad enough to hand Ottawa such a high pick.
The trade looks even better now than it did when the first round of voting took place, as the draft lottery format is final. There’s no possibility that San Jose goes on a magical late season run as many had feared. They’re done.
Trade: Sturtz, 5th --> MTL
Out: Andrew Sturtz, 2021 5th Round Pick
In: Mike Reilly
Erik Brannstrom wasn’t ready. Dylan DeMelo was on his way out. Injuries were everywhere. Pierre Dorion felt he needed to do something to solidify his NHL blue line, so he went out and acquired Mike Reilly from the Canadiens for what amounted to a relatively low price. Reilly wasn’t getting any playing time in Montreal, but came into Ottawa and provided reasonably competent NHL minutes. He didn’t blow anybody away, but he was far from the worst performer on defence. The only real downside to this trade from Ottawa’s perspective is the additional year on Reilly’s contract, which may make it more difficult to integrate a young player into the lineup.