Chris Kelly will be back in Boston next season
News from the Boston Bruins Monday evening as it was announced that the Boston Bruins have resigned forwards Gregory Campbell and Chris Kelly.
The Campbell deal is nothing special. Gregory Campbell is getting a deal worth $4.8 over three years which is fair for a fourth line wing who is hugely important in the Boston Bruins penalty kill system.
It’s the deal for Chris Kelly that is quite interesting. Chris Kelly is coming off a season where he was an alternate captain and had a career high 39 points including a career high of 20 goals. He also had a +/- of 33 and was a vital part of the penalty kill along with Greg Campbell that was 11th in the league in killing percentage. Chris Kelly did a lot of things good for the Bruins in 2011/2012, especially considering that he was a third line center.
That’s the problem with this deal. On this team as currently built, Chris Kelly would be a third line center and that doesn’t even factor in other moves the Boston Bruins could make this off-season in terms of acquiring players or moving players to positions. Remember, Tyler Seguin’s natural position in juniors was center and he could always make the move back to the position which would bump Kelly down the depth chart. So the Bruins are taking a cap hit of $3 million on a third or fourth line center in an off-season where they have a player they absolutely need to re-sign in Tuukka Rask and a player they want to pursue in Zack Parise. Just doesn’t seem like smart business for a guy who just had his career year in a contract year. The Bruins also have important contracts in the next few seasons including Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin.
I guess he is that valuable from a leadership and penalty killing stand-point, but it remains to be seen if the Bruins will regret the cap hit in the long run.