Chris Kelly joined the franchise that drafted him, taking on the role of development coach with the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
Nineteen years after being drafted by the Senators, Chris Kelly is ready to return the favor with Ottawa.
The 37-year-old former center joined the franchise that selected him with the 94th pick in the 1999 draft as a development coach, just months after playing his final NHL game with the Anaheim Ducks. He retires with a resume that includes 845 games, 123 goals and 291 points, with a Stanley Cup ring, Olympic bronze medal and a Spengler Cup championship.
“As it got closer to realizing my playing career was coming to an end I knew I wanted to stay in the game,” Kelly said on Tuesday. “I love hockey, I want to be around it and this is just a great opportunity.”
He joins former Sens forward Shean Donovan, tasked with helping the franchise’s young players get to the next level and he has plenty of expertise to share.
“There’s little things that [Donovan] and I learned over our careers that we can help them on the ice and off the ice and wherever it’s needed,” he said.
That includes the 2011 Cup run with the Boston Bruins, a team that has now placed four players—Rich Peverley, Mark Recchi, Shawn Thornton and now Kelly—into front-office roles with NHL teams, as well as Andrew Ference, who became the league’s first director of social impact.