Kelly activated; Spooner, Trotman sent down

Kelly activated; Spooner, Trotman sent down
January 28, 2014, 6:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON – Bruins coach Claude Julien all but guaranteed that Chris Kelly would be back in the lineup when the B’s dropped the puck with the Florida Panthers tonight at TD Garden. So it was no surprise when the third line center was activated off the injured reserve on Tuesday afternoon, and both Zach Trotman and Ryan Spooner were sent back down to the Providence Bruins in corresponding moves.

The 21-year-old Spooner has appeared in 22 games with Boston this season, racking up 11 assists with a plus-six rating.  In total, the forward has played in 28 NHL games for Boston (2012-14). He tailed off a bit at the end of his first extended NHL stint with two assists in his last eight games, and was scratched in his last couple of games with Boston while battling a flu bug.

While Spooner clearly would have loved to stay at the NHL level, there are still lessons to be learned in the AHL where his quickness and playmaking abilities still need to be complemented by more physical strength, polish-work in the face-off circle and continued diligence in the defensive zone.

Trotman has appeared in a couple of games with the Bruins this season, but wasn’t required for the Black and Gold’s lineup once Dougie Hamilton returned from his mild concussion.

Kelly has been out since Dec. 7 with a broken right ankle suffered on a Pascal Dupuis slash in an eventful win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but has been close to a return for the last couple of weeks while practicing with the team. It should be interesting to see what the third line pivot can do skating on a third line with the Swedish connection, Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, that has begun heating up in the last couple of games.

Both Swedish third line wingers scored goals in Monday night’s win over the New York Islanders.