Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell, who recently agreed to new deals that will keep them as Boston Bruins, spoke today via conference call about the deals and the experience of playing in Boston.
Kelly is expected to formally sign his new contract on July 1, according to general manager Peter Chiarelli, who was also on the call. That’s because of salary cap ins and outs related to Kelly’s expiring contracts and future commitments.
In order to stay with Boston, where he wanted to stay all along, Chiarelli said that Campbell willingly accepted less money than he probably could have found in the free agency market.
Kelly probably could’ve found a bigger deal too, but he and his wife are so enamored with the city of Boston that “there wasn’t any real decision other than to come back and be part of the Boston Bruins organization,” he said.
Chiarelli values these principles, saying that he is always looking for players who keep their egos in check and make sacrifices like that for the good of the team. He called both players essential “glue guys” and noted that Campbell especially is the epitome of the Bruins’ style of play.
“We play an important role…not as glamorous, nonetheless it’s important,” Campbell said about the place that he and his Merlot Line-mates occupy in the Bruins lineup.
Every other member of the team sent congratulatory text messages to Campbell when they learned the news, he said, which is something he felt was rare. Kelly added that you don’t find that kind of warm atmosphere everywhere.
Both players have had mixed feelings about watching this year’s playoffs from the sidelines. Kelly especially said he felt a little sick watching the Los Angeles Kings hoist Lord Stanley earlier this week. He and Campbell stayed with Boston because they feel there’s a chance to play consistently into June.
There is no news on negotiations with Benoit Pouliot, though he is still considered a potential re-sign.
Chiarelli is still assuming that the Bruins goaltending tandem next season will be Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, which he said has had an impact on unspecified other plans.
With free agency approaching, he said he feels good with his lineup as it is right now, though he’ll keep his eyes open, but he is also fine with doing nothing.