Senators for Sale: Chris Kelly

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 2: Chris Kelly #22 of the Ottawa Senators shoots during warm-ups before NHL action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre November 2 2010 in Toronto Ontario Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)


Chris Kelly

#22 / Center / Ottawa Senators

6-0

198

Nov 11, 1980



Contract Status
$2.125M through next season (2011-12)

Pros
Chris Kelly is a very strong depth player. Much of his career has been on the third line, but he is someone who's able to fill in for top-six forwards ably, even if he won't knock your socks off. On a Senators team with monstrous offensive struggles, Kelly is actually on pace to set a career-high in goals and approach a career-high in points. He's ridiculously consistent, almost to the point of clockwork, and will never be a defensive liability on your team. He's also an elite penalty killer.

Cons
Difficult to think of one, aside from perhaps his cap hit, although it shouldn't be a dealbreaker.

Trade Value
High. The fact that Kelly's actually having a good season on a team full of mostly disastrous ones will make teams interested in him. With few teams looking to shake up their core while gearing up for a playoff run, Chris Kelly is the perfect fit: Experience, an ability to play a two-way game, good playoff numbers, and still young. Acquiring him wouldn't be a rental, he would be an asset most teams would be happy to keep within their organization.

Trade Likelihood
Marginal. Which is odd, because if I were on a team gearing up for a playoff spot, Kelly is one of the guys I would target first. Reducing the likelihood, though, is that Kelly is mostly under the radar here, and hasn't popped up in any rumours (although that might mean him being traded is more likely). Still, as a solid leader and a perfect team-first player, the Senators wouldn't mind keeping him around, so they won't be selling him for "best offer"--there will be an asking price, and it won't be peanuts.

Chris Kelly would fit in tremendously well on the Detroit Red Wings, in my opinion, but other potential destinations could include the Tampa Bay Lightning (they could use a third-line centreman), Washington Capitals (a shutdown centre to free up Brooks Laich for more offensive minutes), Montreal Canadiens (a reunion with Jacques Martin), Anaheim Ducks (some much-needed depth at centre), and Colorado Avalanche (for experience, depth, and defensive aptitude down the middle).

Realistic Return
At least a second-round pick, considering the going rate for Dominic Moore is a second-round pick and that Kelly is a better player than Moore offensively and defensively, so that would have to be the starting point for negotiations. It wouldn't likely get as high as a first-round pick, but a second-rounder and a decent forward prospect wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. As the draft pick gets lower (into the third or fourth rounds), the prospect would need to get that much better.

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