Haggerty: Kelly should spark some changes

Haggerty: Kelly should spark some changes
February 16, 2011, 11:38 pm
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By Joe Haggerty

WILMINGTON, Mass. For those disappointed in the Chris Kelly acquisition, heres a simple couple words of advice: Dont be.The Bruins had an extra second-round pick floating around after trading Chuck Kobasew to the Minnesota Wild last season, and it was clear the pick wasnt going to be at the top of the round given Minnesotas surge over the last few months.So the B's dealt their pick and held onto the Wild selection that will be a bit higher in the round, and the Bs have done something to stabilize the third center spot that has been a problem ever since Marc Savard went down for the season with his concussion. Kellys arrival means the Bruins get a little more difficult to play against, and that pieces are being set in motion by Bruins coach Claude Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli once the former Senators center arrives in the U.S. after work visa issues. Tyler Seguin will see an immediate impact from Kellys arrival, as hes been displaced as the third-line center on the Boston roster, and it appears that the 19-year-old might again be headed to a healthy scratch if things dont change.That leads to Blake Wheeler, who has been discussed in trade talks with several teams and figures to be one of the central pieces moved in a deal for a defenseman now that the Bruins have secured an additional forward. Wheeler hasnt been the same player over the last six weeks after showing some encouraging signs of intermittent physicality and snarl at the beginning of the season, and sources indicate he may be the eventual odd man out of Boston once the Bs make a deal.Either way the Bruins couldnt survive down the stretch and into the playoffs if they were playing with a top three center that they were hesitant to put on the ice, and felt was a defensive and offensive liability when he was out there. That's no fault of a young player trying to figure things out with frenetic NHL action flying all around, but its a reality for a hockey team thats got aspirations to move beyond the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.Kelly isnt the answer, but hes part of solving a problem that needed to be closed before the playoff bullets started flying.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs