Chris Kelly: Boston Bruins Forward Returns from Switzerland

Chris BlanchardContributor IIIDecember 7, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 6:  Chris Kelly #23 of the Boston Bruins shoots during warmup before NHL action at the Air Canada Centre March 6, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

Boston Bruins alternate captain Chris Kelly has ended his brief stint in Swtizerland's National League B and returned to North America. Kelly played eight games for HC Red Ice in the Swiss second division. 

According to the league's website, he played his final game for the club on November 30. He recorded two assists in his team's 4-2 victory against HC La Chaux-de-Fonds. He faced the same squad in his first overseas contest on November 3. 

Kelly performed well in Switzerland with four goals and five assists just eight games. Averaging more than a point per game seems rather impressive on the surface, but it hardly compares to the exploits of his Bruins teammates. 

While Kelly excelled in the B division, fellow Bruins Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron kept busy terrorizing the Swiss top-flight. Both are averaging more than a point per game against much better competition, and Seguin leads the league in goals, outshining other NHL stars like Rick Nash, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture.

Kelly is the second Bruin to return home from Europe after goaltender Tuukka Rask ended a sparkling stay in the Czech Republic. Rask dominated as HC Plzen's netminder in the Czech Extraliga. At the end of his time abroad, he sported elite statistics with a 2.13 goals against average and a .9249 save percentage.

With two players back from successful journeys, 10 Bruins remain dispersed across the European continent. Daniel Paille recently became the 12th Bruins player to make the trip when he joined Finland's Ilves Tampere earlier this week. 

Other Bruins, such as Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, David Krejci, Rich Peverley and Johnny Boychuk, continue to see regular action in a number of countries.

Kelly likely returned to North America optimistic about the state of CBA negotiations, which have since taken an unfortunate turn for the worse. As Bruins continue to excel abroad, fans in Boston will anxiously await their arrival for an NHL training camp that may never come.