While Chris Kelly
may not (as of yet) be a household name around New England, the B's newest forward is very well known to Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
, who played alongside Kelly when they were both members of the Ottawa Senators in 2005-06.
"Well it’s a great addition," said Chara after Wednesday's pre-flight practice in Wilmington's Ristuccia Memorial Arena.
"He is a hard working player. He’s a smart player. He always plays his role well and, for sure, is going to give us more depth in the middle and the experience he has.
"I think it’s a great addition," repeated Chara.
Career totals of 75 goals and 101 assists for 176 points in 463 games tell only a little bit of Kelly's story.
"When I was in Ottawa, all the top lines always wanted him as a linemate," said Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli after he announced the trade late Tuesday night. "He’s a dependable guy in a line and he can make plays.
"So there’s always kind of an inner argument as to moving him up in times when things aren’t going right because guys want him."
Obviously, Kelly's experience, dependability and versatility make the acquisition even more important to the Bruins, who are working through the loss of an all-star quality center like Marc Savard
When I was in Ottawa, all the top lines always wanted him as a linemate. He's a dependable guy in a line and he can make plays. - Peter Chiarelli
"When other guys want him on their line it usually means that there’s a precursor to chemistry on that line and it usually happened that there was chemistry [with Chris]," explained Chiarelli of Kelly, who has 12-11-23 totals this season.
"He can play up the lineup and down the lineup...[and] we acquired him for that third line, but there’s versatility there also."
"He is going to get the job done," said Chara. "He is always thinking on the ice, before he does anything.
"That makes a big difference in the crucial situations in the game and to have that poise and patience on the ice is always huge."
Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien is excited to have his new forward join the team.
"Well it’s definitely something we feel is going to help our hockey club," said Julien before the club left for Long Island on Wednesday. "He is an experienced player, plays center, plays the wing. He takes a lot of draws [and has] playoff experience.
"I like his grit and compete level -- certainly a great addition for our hockey club."