NHL Free Agents: Boston Bruins Smart to Re-Sign Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell
BOS agrees to terms with Chris Kelly on four-year, $12M deal and Gregory Campbell on three-year, $4.8M deal. AAVs of $3M and $1.6M.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 11, 2012
Signing Kelly for $3 million a season is a good deal for the Bruins because I would have expected the defensive forward to get more money on the free agent market. Campbell's $1.6 million-per-year deal is also a good contract for the Bruins because he is a tremendous fourth-line center.
One of the Bruins' best strengths is their depth, which will remain intact for the most part with the signings of Kelly and Campbell. Since the start of this past season, the Bruins have re-signed David Krejci, Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk, Rich Peverley and now Kelly and Campbell.
Kelly was one of six Bruins to score 20 goals or more this season, and was named an alternate captain, along with Andrew Ference, at the beginning of last year when Mark Recchi retired.
Kelly finished the regular season with 20 goals, 19 assists and a fantastic plus-33 rating. He looked very comfortable during his short time in Boston, which probably made the decision to re-sign with the Bruins a little bit easier.
After the Bruins re-signed Campbell's two fourth-line teammates, Thornton and Paille, to new contracts, many expected Campbell to get his new deal sooner rather than later. He finished with eight goals and eight assists in 78 games.
General manager Peter Chiarelli was able to bring back two important members of the team without overpaying for either one, further proving why he's one of the top GMs in the NHL.
For the Bruins to continue to play their physical, defensive-minded style of hockey, keeping players who fit that system well such as Kelly and Campbell was a priority this offseason.
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and has covered the team firsthand since the 2010-11 season. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston.
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