BOSTON – Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he retained "glue guys" after it was announced that the B’s had signed center Gregory Campbell to a three-year contract and had reached an agreement in principle with center Chris Kelly on a four-year pact.
"You win a Cup, you go through the trenches with these players and these are two that we really wanted to re-sign,” Chiarelli told bostonbruinsTV prior to his press conference to discuss the deals. “I’d been working on both of them probably since January."
Chiarelli believes both men fit the Black & Gold’s tried and true mold.
“[Campbell’s] a left-handed center and he plays really hard,” said the GM. “He was down a little bit statistically last year, but he’s young and he’s strong and he’s a Bruins type of player.”
And if any 31-year-old has upside, it’s Kelly, who, even as a veteran, continues to improve his game.
“You know, with Chris, you know what you’re going to get,” said Chiarelli. “There are some players that get better with age and he’s one of them.
“And he’s gotten better,” added the GM, with a clear nod to Kelly’s career-high 20 goals last season. “He knows what type of player he is – he’s a real good two-way player, very compatible with our team.
“And again – [the Bruins are] happy to have him in the mix,” he said.
Chiarelli also spoke at length about both centers’ character – a trait that obviously paved the pair’s way back to Boston.
“Soupy will battle for his teammates, as will Kells,” said Chiarelli, of the forwards’ commitment to the Black & Gold. “I mean, they’re both just great individuals and it’s a testament that they want to be back [in Boston] and they’re [signed] under market.
“They’re good men,” added the B’s general manager. “We’ve won with them and will continue to win with them.”