According to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty, the Boston Bruins are in the process of finalizing contract extensions for forwards Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell.
Haggerty spoke to both representation of the two players and the Bruins organization, with both sides saying the deals are done in principle and only details need to be ironed out.
While money and term are still unknown, we can confirm the Bruins will roll into 2012-13 with a near-identical roster that saw them win the Northeast Division last season and finish second in the Eastern Conference.
(Minus Tim Thomas, of course.)
Kelly and Campbell will all but fill out Boston’s depth at center, leaving just RFA Benoit Pouliot as the lone unsigned forward. Everybody but Joe Corvo is expected to be back on defense. The future of Nathan Horton is a question mark, but in terms of security he’s inked until 2014.
As for those about to sign…
Kelly, 31, scored a career-high 20 goals and 39 points last year, chipping in with three points in seven playoff games. He was in the last year of a four-year, $8.5 million deal that paid $2.125 million annually, and its likely he re-signed for similar money.
Campbell, 28, saw his role decrease slightly from the Stanley Cup-winning campaign but still finished last season with a respectable 8G-8A-16PTS in 78 games. He too was in the final year of his contract, a two-year deal worth $1.1 million annually.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: