One NHLer out, another NHLer in.
That’s the story out of Switzerland today as National League B team HC Red Ice announced the signing of Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly to a lockout deal.
Kelly will replace Nashville forward Patric Hornqvist, who signed for Red Ice in early October but recently announced he wouldn’t renew his contract.
Kelly, 31, is coming off a career year with the Bruins that saw him score 20G-19A-39PTS in 82 games before chipping in with three points in seven playoff games. In June, Boston rewarded him with a four-year, $12 million extension.
The move to Switzerland will be Kelly’s first foray into European hockey.
During the last lockout, he opted to stay in North America and play for Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton, where he broke out with a 24-goal, 60-point effort. That performance kickstarted his NHL career — the following season, he appeared in all 82 games for the Senators, scoring 10 times.
With the move to Red Ice, Kelly becomes the third Bruin to head to Switzerland, as both Tyler Seguin (HC Biel) and Patrice Bergeron (HC Lugano) are playing there, albeit in the National A League.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…