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Is This Goodbye?

Maybe. But Chris Kelly hopes to return next season.

Friday, 04.27.2012 / 4:41 PM ET / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Is This Goodbye?

BOSTON, MA -- From the moment Chris Kelly slipped on a Black & Gold sweater, the veteran center made himself an integral part of the Boston Bruins.

Kelly leaving TD Garden on Friday.

But after he cleaned out his locker stall in the TD Garden, the forward wasn't sure about the future. An unrestricted free agent as of July 1, Kelly could very well find himself in a different uniform next season.

"I truly do like it here," said Kelly. "I know some guys just say that, but everything about Boston has been a pleasant surprise from the team, the coaching staff, the management and obviously the city.

"I didn’t know anything about Boston coming here midseason last year other than visiting the city when I played," explained Kelly. "My wife and I and our family love it here.

"It’s a great city."

However, Kelly picked a great time to wow New England with the best statistical season of his NHL career and there could be plenty of suitors for his services going into the 2012-13 campaign.

"We obviously have some guys to consider whether we sign them or not," said General Manager Peter Chiarelli of his offseason strategy. "From the makeover perspective, certainly we’re not going to do anything to makeover this team.

"You hear me talk about the parity in this league and our first round loss in seven games this year can be another Stanley Cup Final next year – it’s that close.

"You saw the number of teams in the West – you kind of see the new four teams in the West and you see some different teams in the East so you just have to be prepared [to compete]."

So, competition for Kelly's services might mean Bruins fans might need to be prepared to see the center return to Causeway Street with another squad. But Kelly remains optimistic that things will work out with the Bruins.

"I’d hope so," said Kelly. "I seem to be a guy who’s class is half-full as opposed to half-empty in that way.

"So, yeah, hopefully get something done."

However, Kelly remained professional in his outlook and said that he'd keep an open mind.

"I think I’ll always weigh every option, every possibility," said Kelly. "That’s my job as a player and as a guy with a young family -- that’s my responsibility.

"But, you know, I think if we can get something done here I’d like to stay here," said Kelly. "This a great team, great organization and I know being on a good winning hockey team is an important thing to me and it always has been."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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