Kelly to make Bruins debut in Ottawa

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:14 PM ET

Chris Kelly will make his Bruins debut in familiar surroundings.

The former Senators centre, dealt to Boston on Tuesday for a second-round pick, wasn’t able to get his U.S. work visa in time to suit up with his new teammates Thursday in Uniondale against the New York Islanders.

So, in an ironic twist, Kelly’s first game for his new team will be Friday against his old team at Scotiabank Place, which had been his home rink for his entire six-year NHL career.

“We’re excited to have him,” said Boston GM Peter Chiarelli. “He’s a strong two-way player and he’s got good character. I can attest to that from spending time with him in Ottawa.

“He’s got playoff experience, he’s a versatile player who can play in two positions and he can play up and down the lineup. He’s got good speed..”

Kelly will likely play a similar, third-line role with the Bruins to the one he had with Ottawa. Expect him to start with Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler or possibly rookie Tyler Seguin.

Bruins coach Claude Julien is pleased to have the 30-year-old veteran’s presence.

“He’s got some experience and he’s a guy who has been in the league for a while and has gone to the finals,” said Julien. “We’ve got a guy who is a serious competitor who shows up every game.

“That’s important for us. He’s a gritty player and he’s had a decent offensive year this year as well. He’s a guy that takes a lot of faceoffs. His determination in every game is going to be an asset for us.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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