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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."

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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