U of Minn D Mike Reilly, playing for USA at #WHC, informed CBJ this week he is going to explore UFA market but CBJ still a consideration.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 16, 2015
And it’s official.. after months, years, of speculation Mike Reilly has decided to leave the Columbus Blue Jackets, forgoing signing a contract 30 days from his decommit from the University of Minnesota (which he did Wednesday-Thursday). Technically that would put the Jackets on the clock to sign him before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with anyone, but this news makes that a moot point. (We discussed why and what options the Jackets have earlier in the week)
Reilly was the 98th pick (4th round) of the Jackets in the 2011 Draft. He never signed a contract after years lacking in straight forward communication, leaving the Jackets in the dark on one of their prospects they were relying on to help bolster a lackluster blueline. He’ll hit free agency, never playing a game for the Jackets at the age of 22, making him one of the most sought after free agents due to his improved game, young age and lack of quality unrestricted defensemen men on the market.
I’m shooting this one right from the hip. This kid is the worst kind of athlete, the entitled snob who doesn’t realize the great opportunity he was given. Millions of people across the world would love for just one team to take a chance on them. He’s treated the one that did in the worst way. At least Rick Nash gave it a shot, this kid won’t even give the team that spent a draft pick on him that.
As we discussed earlier, “Reilly was the 98th pick, all teams had their shot at and passed…multiple times. The Jackets took a chance on him and he’s done nothing to repay them. If he wanted to leave at the end of his contract, by all means, but at least fill the responsibility that goes along with being a draft choice. It may not be written on paper but it’s an understanding that you should be honored a team chose you over all of the other players still available in the draft because they wanted you to represent their team. That comes with responsibility and Reilly should have honored that like they honored him when they chose him.”
The Blue Jackets deserve better. They’re a team that’s turned it around as of late and has plenty of promise. He’ll forever be attached to the Blue Jackets and nothing is going to be sweeter than eliminating his ungrateful, undeserving Columbus spurning jersey out of the playoffs showing him he’s made a huge mistake.
This might sound like someone who just got dumped but its more than just pure emotion. Its the change of nature, the unprofessionalism, the ungratefulness, the pure lack of respect and ignorance of responsibility. He should be ashamed of himself.
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Some will blame the Jackets’ front office calling this a blunder. I struggle to see how responsibility of this situation falls on them, unless there is something I’m missing or information that surfaces later. As far as the information I could find, there is nothing that pointed out that he wouldn’t sign a contract leading up to the draft. They took a chance with a 4th rounder, who seems to have outplayed his 4th round grade going into the draft, so give credit to them for finding talent in the later rounds.
Sometimes you can’t change someone’s mind no matter how hard you try, there is just stubborn , unappreciative people out there and Reilly has shown his true colors. Don’t expect the Jackets’ roster not to remember this come their first meeting. I find it unlikely the players are taking this as a compliment.
My advice kid….. keep your head on a swivel.