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After a very disappointing season, Chris Kelly could be on the trading block.
In 2011-12, Kelly was the best third-line center in the National Hockey League. In his first full season with the Bruins, he scored a career-high 20 goals and finished with a tremendous plus-33 rating.
Last season was a different story. The Bruins' alternate captain scored just three goals and had a minus-eight rating. The loss of winger Benoit Pouliot and a woeful campaign from the since-traded Rich Peverley didn't help, but Kelly still has to be held accountable.
The center's awful season was made worse by the fact that he had just signed a four-year, $12 million deal. Overpaid and underachieving are two adjectives often applied to trade-blocked players.
Bruins top prospect Ryan Spooner is NHL-ready and may already be a better player than Kelly, but the youngster will be stuck in Providence until an NHL center spot opens up.
According to The Fourth Period's Shawn Hutcheon, Kelly was shopped this summer. Though none of the talk resulted in a trade, the phone could still ring at any moment.
The 32-year-old Kelly has tremendous value as a two-way center and locker-room leader, but he still has to start scoring again. New wingers Carl Soderberg and Reilly Smith might get him back on track, but a slow start could mean the end for Kelly in Boston.