, a center the Bruins acquired from Ottawa a few weeks prior to the trade deadline, said his new teammates made him feel comfortable in Boston right away.
“They’ve been great, welcoming myself and the other new guys into this locker room,” he said.
“It’s always tough to come into a dressing room towards the end of the season because the guys have battled together and been together all year and been through training camp and all sorts of things.
“So they’ve been great having us come in and making us feel welcome.”
The trade marked the first time Kelly has switched NHL teams, so naturally it has taken him some getting used to.
“Being traded for the first time is just a new experience for myself and my family, and something that’s getting easier with time,” he said.
“It’s tough to leave the only place that we’ve ever known. But, that being said, the organization, the guys, everyone has been great helping me and my family adjust.”
Forward Rich Peverley
came to the Bruins from Atlanta shortly after the Bruins acquired Kelly, and found the recent undefeated six-game road trip helped him feel a part of the B’s.
“Everybody’s so nice, and I think we’ve meshed well as a group, especially having that road trip when the three of us just got here. So I’ve got to know guys a lot better being on the road with them,” Peverley said.
“The guys, everybody, helped out and were so nice and were able to ask me questions about Atlanta and how I like it here, if I need any help, and it’s been good that way.”
Kelly, without a car in Boston, agrees that his new teammates have provided support to make his move easier.
“I’m just bumming rides from guys, and that’s another thing, them being great driving me around and helping me find good restaurants and things like that,” Kelly commented.
Peverley is also enjoying his time so far in this new city.
“The city’s very compact, it’s nice and close. So it’s definitely different than Atlanta. Atlanta is very spread out, so this is walking distance to anything,” he said.
Oftentimes, traded players have very short notice to pack up a closetful of clothes and belongings.
“I had a few days after I got traded to kind of gather some stuff,” said Kelly.
“But we went out West and came back to Ottawa and I had a day there, so I got to pack some more stuff. So it was kind of the perfect situation for me.”
Bruins defenseman and captain, Zdeno Chara
, who played with Kelly in Ottawa in 2005-06, reached out to him upon his arrival.
“Zee was great. He called me, he picked me up the day I got into Boston at the hotel and took me over to his house,” Kelly said.
“He took me out to dinner, and he was great making me feel welcome and introducing me and bringing me around the other guys.
“He’s such a big presence in the dressing room and with the organization. When you know a familiar face like that, it’s always easy.”
Kelly also noted that having a friend who is so rooted in the team chemistry is helpful when joining a group of guys who are much like brothers.
“These guys have been together, some for a lot of years, and they’ve built up relationships off the ice as well as on the ice,” Kelly said of his teammates. “And I think that’s something that’s special about the game, especially the game of hockey.
“You build up those relationships and they become friends.”---Lindsey Schmidt