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Contract talks between Kelly, Bruins hit “stalemate”

May 21, 2012, 4:39 PM EDT

Chris Kelly, Dennis Wideman AP

According to ESPN Boston’s Jimmy Murphy, discussions for a new deal between Chris Kelly and the Bruins aren’t going especially well.

Murphy classified the situation as a “stalemate” upon speaking with Kelly’s agent, Pat Morris, who is waiting for word from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.

“We haven’t heard from Peter yet so we’re just waiting for his call and we’ll hopefully get the dialogue going,” Morris told ESPN. “Chris obviously has a warm spot in his heart for Boston since he won the Cup here and loves this team, so he has made it clear he’d like to stay, but we’re also going to have to keep our options open the closer we get to July 1.”

Kelly, 31, will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after spending the last year and a half in Boston, notching a career-best 20 goals and 39 points in 2011-12.

Should he go to market, Kelly will likely receive plenty of attention. The free agent crop is bereft of centers — Jarret Stoll, Olli Jokinen and Jason Arnott headline the UFA list — and Kelly has proven to be a solid, reliable two-way center in Boston, finishing fourth in the NHL this season with a plus-33 rating.

That said, Kelly has made it clear he wants to stay put.

“I’ve made it clear I like it here and I’m not just telling you that,” he told reporters during his end-of-year media availability. “I really do like it here. Some guys just say that, but everything about Boston has been a pleasant surprise. From the team, the coaching staff, the management all the way down to the city.

“I didn’t know anything about the city after coming here last year, but my wife and I — and my family — have really grown to love it here.”

  1. killerpgh - May 21, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    He would make a great 3rd line center in Pittsburgh. Gives the options of Staal bumping up to the top 6 or lessens the loss if Staal is traded and the return is younger prospects who couldn’t fill that role yet.

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