Just when you’d thought the Bruins had two key contracts locked down, the NHL has to go and make things so complicated.On Wednesday, the Bruins officially announced the signing of center Gregory Campbell to a new three-year, $4.8 million deal and also announced a deal to sign center Chris Kelly to a four-year, $12 million deal to keep him in Boston for the next 4 seasons. However, it wasn’t really a deal, but rather an “agreement in principle”.
Because Kelly is a free agent as of July 1st, the “deal” isn’t official just yet, making it an “agreement in principle”, but Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli doesn’t anticipate any problems locking down the deal, saying, “With respect to Chris, we’ve got a commitment from him for four years and we’re not able the register that contract yet. We have to wait because of payroll tagging issues. That will be something we do on July 1. He has my commitment, he’s given me his commitment, and we’re ecstatic to have him for four years.”
Those “front office” issues naturally lead to rumors that Kelly’s contract had been rejected by the NHL, but based on what Chiarelli told the media, the complications currently surrounding the contract should dissolve as of July 1st, and it sounds like not only does Chiarelli want him to come back to Beantown, but Kelly wants to stay. ”You’ve seen him score clutch goals for us, you’ve seen him take clutch faceoffs for us, you’ve seen him make great defensive plays, make great offensive plays, and he shows up every night,” Chiarelli said. “Kells is another guy who has been adamant and has been in the discussions that I’ve had with him that he wants to stay here and I think it’s evidenced by the fact that he’s making this commitment to us.”