OTTAWA, Ontario -- The old proverb says, "You can judge a man by the company he keeps."
And the company that Chris Kelly
kept during his day with the Stanley Cup was pretty special.
"The one thing that I truly knew I wanted to do when I had the Cup was take it to CHEO, which is the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario," said Kelly. "We had done things when I was with the Senators in the past.
"And just to put a smile on a kid’s face or a parent’s face -- for five minutes even -- was something that I wanted to do."
Kelly was successful in that endeavor and enjoyed a few fun moments with a young boy in Black & Gold.
"Yeah, one of the kids had a Bruins jersey on and he turned around and sure enough it was Donovan 22," said Kelly with a laugh. "I got the pleasure to play with Shean in Ottawa and I’m still really close with him. That was something special.
"I don’t know how many Donovan jerseys are floating around but I’ll let him know there’s one!" he added with a laugh.
Donovan wasn't far away, and Shean, one of the most likeable Bruins of the post-lockout era, was quick to talk about Kelly, his friend and former teammate when he arrived at Kelly's Cup day barbeque.
"He was one of the most liked guys," said Donovan, who retired from hockey at the beginning of last season. "Guys were sad to see him go and couldn’t believe that he got traded.
"Obviously, I didn’t play this season but, turned into a big Bruins fan when he got traded to the Bruins and that’s my team growing up, but it was awesome to see him carry the Cup and win the Stanley Cup.
"But I know they miss him in Ottawa and the dressing room," added Donovan. "He was unbelievable...[and] he was good in the community, so people are lucky to have 'Kells' in Boston."
That desire to give back was illustrated by Kelly's visit to CHEO and like so many of the Bruins who will have their moment with the Stanley Cup this summer, Kelly said that giving back to his home community was a major priority.
"I think we’ve made this our home," said Kelly of Ottawa. "We’ve been here for so long and had so many friends in this area, just to bring it back and let them enjoy it, but also keep it pretty intimate.
"I’m not a big flashy person," added Kelly. "I kind of like to stay in the background, but this is something special to not only me but a lot of people."
So, after taking the Cup to the hospital, Kelly invited about 200 friends and family to a local establishment.
"We just tried to get as many friends and family members together and enjoy. They did a great job here and hopefully it’ll be a great day," said Kelly.
It was a great day, not only because the Stanley Cup was in their midst, but because the family could celebrate together.
"Yeah, obviously most hockey players won’t be in this position without their mother or father driving them to practice, to games, giving them that encouragement," said Kelly. "That’s the case with me.
"I’m very fortunate to have a great supporting cast at home with my parents and my brother.
"Obviously [lucky] to have my wife here too, who has pretty much planned this entire day and done a lot for me so it’ll be great," he said.
Kelly added he's lucky to have a great hockey family in Boston, as well, and said that his favorite part of the Bruins Cup run was bonding with his new teammates.
"Just the whole two months of kind of getting to know the guys a lot better," he said. "Getting traded to a team is a difficult thing -- not really knowing people.
"But I found from the first game against Montreal to the last game against Vancouver, I truly made connections and friendships with each and every guy.
"That’s something that I’ll keep forever."
Just like his memories of his day with the Stanley Cup.