Rather than making a splash in the NHL's free agent pool as it did one year ago, the Minnesota Wild waded into the open market waters to sign center Steve Kelly to a one year contract. Kelly has spent the past three seasons playing in Germany, but he has played 147 career NHL games with four teams. His last NHL action came with the Los Angeles Kings in 2003-2004 when he played three games. Kelly posted 21 points (9-12=21) in his 147 NHL games.
Originally drafted sixth overall by Edmonton in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, Kelly brings size and strength to the Wild organization. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Kelly certainly plays a rough and tumble game, which is something the Wild has been addressing since the conclusion of the 2007 NHL playoffs.
Last season, Kelly appeared in 47 games and posted nine goals and 29 assists to go along with 209 penalty minutes. Kelly posted at least 163 penalty minutes in each of his three seasons in Germany. The 30-year-old Vancouver native was a member of the 2000 Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils.