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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
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
4 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
5 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
6 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
7 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
8 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 52 19 26 8 45
L. Eriksson 52 16 24 11 40
D. Krejci 42 12 27 2 39
R. Spooner 52 11 27 -5 38
B. Marchand 47 24 12 12 36
Z. Chara 50 7 20 8 27
M. Beleskey 50 8 17 10 25
T. Krug 51 3 21 6 24
J. Hayes 50 11 12 -5 23
B. Connolly 49 7 9 -5 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 19 15 5 .918 2.47
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .915 2.38
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