BostonBruins.com – On June 15, 2011, exactly four months after being traded to Boston by the Ottawa Senators, Chris Kelly joyously hoisted the Stanley Cup with his Bruins teammates in Vancouver. And while his first full season with the club didn't have a similar happy ending, the 31-year-old center is excited to have four more years with the Black and Gold to try and claim Lord Stanley's silver once again.
Peter Chiarelli announced on June 13 that the team has agreed in principle with Kelly on a four-year contract and, during a conference call, the Bruins general manager praised Kelly's all-around play.
"You've seen him score clutch goals for us, you've seen him take clutch faceoffs for us, you've seen him make great defensive plays, make great offensive plays, and he shows up every night," Chiarelli said.
Kelly, who served as an alternate captain for the Bruins last season, has quickly grown fond of Boston, and his love for the city and its fans was a major factor in his decision to forgo free agency.
"My wife and I have fallen in love with the city and the community," Kelly remarked. "Just going to the rink every day and playing in front of passionate hockey fans has been something great to experience.
"And then, obviously, getting to win a championship in Boston was something that I can't describe."
The native of Toronto, Ontario can grow even more accustomed to Boston now that he's expected to lace up his skates at the TD Garden through the 2015-16 season.
"You want to play hockey as long as possible and to get the four years is something great," he said. "The four years that I get to spend in Boston is even better."
However, the experience of holding the Stanley Cup one year ago was not enough to satisfy Kelly, who is hungry for another Championship while wearing Black & Gold.
"I watched L.A. raise the Cup the other night and it almost makes you kind of get that sick feeling," the B's center said. "It stings a little bit knowing that that was us a year ago and how great that felt, and you want that taste back."
Kelly thinks the B's have the talent and the chemistry to compete for the Cup every year, and that was a big reason in him wanting to stay in New England.
"Everyone checks their ego at the door, and whatever needs to be done to help the team win, they do that – right from Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, right down the line," Kelly said.
"It's something that I want to be around as long as I can."