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Breaking: Olympic captain Kelly signs NHL contract

Hot on the heels of the Gionta signing… a smart move?

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According to multiple sources, bronze medalist and Team Canada Olympic captain Chris Kelly has signed a one-year, pro-rated contract with the Anaheim Ducks:

According to a report from The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, the deal will be worth $1.25 million (pro rated) against the cap and carries some performance bonuses, presumably for the veteran's playoff performance:

The 37-year-old Kelly recently captained team Canada to a bronze medal finish at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and has spent the majority of his 2017-18 season practicing with the Edmonton Oilers and AHL's Belleville Senators. Sportsnet insider Chris Johnston put it best, saying: "Chris Kelly’s season, so far: Edmonton to Belleville to Davos to Pyeongchang to Anaheim."

Wow... talk about a whirlwind season! 

The veteran centerman most recently played in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators last season, scoring five goals and 12 points in 82 games. Prior to that, Kelly had been a solid contributor to the Bruins' 3rd and 4th line for over five seasons. He was instrumental in the team's 2011 Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks but played just two games in the Sens' post-season run a year ago.

In 833 career NHL games, the gritty two-way pivot has 123 goals and 415 points. It's expected that he'll slot into the 4th line center position for the Ducks, taking the spot of journeyman pivot Derek Grant.

USA Captain Gionta signs with Bruins

In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins, fresh off the acquisition of former New York Rangers star Rick Nash, have signed veteran forward Brian Gionta to a one-year, one-way contract for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

From the Bruins' official press release:

Gionta most recently served as captain of Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He appeared in all five of the team's games before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by the Czech Republic. The 5-foot-7, 178-pound forward last played in the NHL in the 2016-17 season with the Buffalo Sabres, where he appeared in all 82 games and tallied 15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points. He established career highs in all offensive categories in 2005-06, when he skated in all 82 games with the New Jersey Devils and recorded 48 goals and 41 assists for 89 points with a plus-18 rating.
Gionta has played in 1,006 career NHL games with Buffalo, Montreal and New Jersey from 2001-17, totaling 289 goals and 299 assists for 588 points. The 39-year-old winger has also skated in 112 career postseason games, posting 32 goals and 36 assists for 68 points. The seven-time captain played alongside current Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo with the 2002-03 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils.

With the additions of both Nash and Gionta, it appears as though Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is gearing up his squad for a lengthy playoff run. And, to be fair, it's clear to see why: his team has been the NHL's hottest over the past 2 months. The surging Bruins are 7-3-0 in their past 10 games and are just five points back of the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, with three games in hands. Win those three games and the Bruins are tops in the NHL. 

While the 39-year-old Gionta may not add much offensively at this point in his career, there's no denying his versatility and his experience. He could be a very valuable player for the Bruins down the stretch and into the postseason.