The Ottawa Senators welcomed back an old friend on Thursday, signing centre Chris Kelly to a one-year contract worth $900k. Kelly was a Sens draft pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, going in the third round (94th overall). He played 463 games over seven seasons with the Sens, becoming a local favourite, and holding down the third-line centre role for the team. As part of the Sens’ rebuild efforts in 2011, Kelly was traded to the Boston Bruins for a 2nd-round pick (which ended up being Shane Prince, 61st overall), where he went on to win the Stanley Cup that season. He played five more seasons with Boston, though a fractured femur limited him to just 11 games last season.
Kelly should be a good fit in the Sens’ bottom six, possibly playing with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Zack Smith as the Sens’ shutdown line. I had thought of the possibility of signing Kelly, but was worried the price point would be too much. At the price point of $900k and just signing him for a year, it’s hard to dislike bringing in the 35 year old.