Why the Boston Bruins Should Buy Out Chris Kelly.


The Boston Bruins are tight on money this season. They’ve been in cap jail ever since they brought Jarome Iginla for the 2013-14 season. Their cap problems were only exacerbated by the lack of young talent earning positions with the NHL club. This forced the Bruins front office to overpay players that could be replaced.

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There was also the problem of the 2011 Stanley Cup. While it was a fantastic run for that team four years ago, Peter Chiarelli did whatever he could to keep the core of that team in Boston.  He did end up trading offensive ace Tyler Seguin, and the less flashy but certainly more practical Rich Peverley to Dallas. Sadly, Reilly Smith has not been able to produce as hoped, and Loui Eriksson‘s concussions that first year made it look like an uneven trade for the Black and Gold.

The Bruins are less than a week from the start of free agency. As of this morning, and free agent who doesn’t have a contract can speak to whatever team wants to talk with them. If another team is able to woo away Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Spooner, the Bruins could have a Torontonian level meltdown on their hands.

Hopefully, the Bruins can find away to offer Hamilton a bridge contract, and then slide extra money to keep Ryan Spooner in the spoked B come September. If that doesn’t happen, the Bruins need a Plan B. A Plan B that sets a solid and direct tone for the Don Sweeney era.

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  • Don Sweeney should seriously entertain a buyout of one of his players, and the player that makes the most sense right now is Chris Kelly.

    Chris Kelly came over in 2011 at the trade deadline from the Ottawa Senators. At the time, he was a solid player for the Bruins. He was part of the 2011 Stanley Cup team. During the 2011-12 season, he put up twenty goals for the Black and Gold.  In the three seasons since, he’s only put up nineteen. His plus/minus in ’11-’12 was a +33. In the last three years it’s even. He’s not producing, and he’s been paid too much money to do not enough offensively.

    He’s thirty-four years old. It’s obvious he’s not going to turn into Jaromir Jagr. The Bruins have all but declared that with Carl Soderberg gone (due to cap hell), Ryan Spooner is the heir-apparent for the third line center job. It sounds as if the Bruins are already mentally moving Kelly down to the fourth line, and what team in their right mind should be paying $3 million a year for a fourth line player?

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  • (You could bring back the old Merlot Line for that kind of cash, and that’s a move some Boston fans would actually approve of.)

    Chris Kelly is no doubt a leader in the Bruins locker room. The organization wouldn’t have put an ‘A’ on his chest otherwise. Boston media often claims that the B’s locker room is full of leaders.  I totally agree.  With so many veteran players, the team could give Dennis Seidenberg the ‘A’.  They could also give it to Milan Lucic. Or, the team could decide three alternate captains are superfluous and just have two.

    He’s in the final year of his contract. Unless the salary cap has a massive jump for the 2016-17 season, it’s highly unlikely that the Bruins would offer Kelly a contract after this one. There isn’t much baggage, and it would be a pretty clean break with him.

    Finally, it comes down to money. The Bruins would be able to turn part of his contract back into cap space, something they desperately need right now.  That cash could go to securing Spooner, perhaps Brett Connolly, and/or Adam McQuaid. While this team has become something of a family, it’s also a family business. While it may pain those over at Casa Del Jacobs letting him go, in the long run it’s the better move for the franchise.

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