Ottawa Senators Greatest Players: #23 – Chris Kelly

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 21: Chris Kelly
OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 21: Chris Kelly /

The Ottawa Senators have just completed their 25th year in the NHL. However, due to the 04-05 lockout they are actually about to enter their 25th season. So, I thought what better time to recognize the 25 greatest Senators of all time. This list won’t be based on pure talent, but rather the skill, impact, and durability of each player.

If you the previous post in the series here you go!

Ottawa Senators Greatest Players: #24 – Magnus Arvedson

Now without further ado the 23rd greatest player in Ottawa Senators history….

#23 Chris Kelly

Part of what makes a player great for a franchise is not necessarily their point total or their ability to be a star. It’s the willingness to do what needs to be done to win, and doing it for a long time. Chris Kelly was that guy for the Ottawa Senators.

Joining the Sens full time after the lockout, Kelly quickly became a regular member of the Sens’ bottom six for more than half a decade. He was someone who the coach could always rely on to play well defensively. As a result he became a staple on the penalty kill for years.

In his time in Ottawa, Kelly was a part of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final team and stuck with the team as the rough patches began to hit in 2009 and didn’t leave until he was traded in 2011. He went on to win a Stanley Cup that year in Boston. In his years away from Canada’s capital he was the same player for Boston that he was for Ottawa.

What makes Kelly so great is his loyalty. He didn’t leave Ottawa until he was traded and then stayed with Boston until they wouldn’t re-sign him. When he was done in Boston he chose to come back to Ottawa despite having other options.

Next: Ottawa Senators: Fredrik Claesson 2017-2018 Season Preview

A Consistent Member Of Great Teams

In his one season back in Ottawa he was a member of one of the most successful Ottawa Senators teams ever. Again he did so by just doing his role. This time it was a reduced role but he did what he had to do to better the team. He may have only played two games in the playoffs but his presence was felt. It’s no coincidence that Kelly was a member of two of the best Sens teams of all time. That is why Kelly deserves to be recognized among the Ottawa Senators’ best.