Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly
was acquired by the team just before the 2011 NHL trade deadline from the Ottawa Senators.
As an outsider coming into a team that was ready to make a playoff push, Kelly had to adjust quickly if he was going to fit into this Original Six team.
“Well obviously being in Ottawa for so long, getting traded was a difficult thing, more difficult than I ever thought it would be,” Kelly said.
He admitted that he didn’t perform to his highest potential at first, but as he got more comfortable with his new teammates and surroundings, he found his stride.
“The team did extremely well and at the end of the day, that’s the main thing but personally, I felt I didn’t play as well as I could have.
“Obviously things got a little better the more comfortable I got there but hopefully knowing everyone right from the start of the year will be better,” Kelly said.
Number 23 was quietly a huge contributor to the B’s playoff success. Kelly brought intangibles to the ice and to the locker room that are tough to find.
“He was unbelievable in the dressing room,” said Bruins alumni Shean Donovan, who was also a teammate of Kelly’s with the Ottawa Senators.
“He’s got good hands, he can skate, he works hard but the thing he is really good at is he’s a guy that can really compliment your better players by being defensive,” said Donovan.
“Obviously they see what he can bring during the playoffs.”
Contrary to many championship teams in the past, the B’s are bringing back nearly their entire roster next season as they hope to hoist the Stanley Cup all over again.
“We’re excited to keep most of the guys intact. It’s something extremely rare, especially when a team does well,” said Kelly.
“I thought Peter [Chiarelli] did a great job of being able to have us compete to repeat.”
While Kelly and the rest of the Boston Bruins may not have had as much time to rest this summer as the rest of the league, having Lord Stanley around certainly makes the short summer much sweeter.
“Yea, obviously under the circumstances I’m fine with that,” Kelly said.
“I’ll take the short summer every year if this thing to the right of me can hang out,” as he pointed to the coveted Cup.