Bruins offer contract extensions to Kelly, Thornton, Campbell and Paille

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As first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Boston Bruins have offered contract extensions to four key members of last year’s Stanley Cup-winning team: C Chris Kelly, RW Shawn Thornton, C Gregory Campbell and LW Daniel Paille.

All four players are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

The offers come shortly after Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli inked impending UFA defenseman Johnny Boychuck to a three-year, $10.08 million deal, stressing that — while he really liked the group that won the Cup last spring — he was wary of “monetizing” the “intangibles” of a long playoff run.

“Winning the Cup, you tend to fall in love with your players, and I think you have to be careful,” Chiarelli said. “You see all the intangibles in a long playoff run, so you tend to monetize that.

“It’s something that I’ve tried to stay away from and will continue to try to stay away from.”

If you’re thinking hey, that strategy is the polar opposite of what Chiarelli’s done with these four extensions…well, then you’re thinking what I’m thinking. Not to take anything away from Kelly, Thornton, Campbell and Paille — all were very good soldiers for Boston last postseason and definitely worth hanging onto — I just don’t understand why Chiarelli would make that statement publicly, especially if he planned to re-up with almost all his key free agents.

As for what the Bruins’ future holds…If all four players accept these extensions it’ll leave Boston with just two UFAs this summer (Josh Hennessy and Joe Corvo) and a handful of RFAs, the most important one being goaltender Tuukka Rask.