By Joe Haggerty
OTTAWA – The Bruins are going to have a whole new look tonight, and it starts with Tomas Kaberle and Chris Kelly taking the ice for the Black and Gold for the first time at Scotiabank Place.
Kaberle will wear no. 12 because his No. 15 isn’t available and Chris Kelly will wear No. 23 in their first go-round with the B’s. The four-time All-Star defenseman spoke about his feelings prior to arriving at Scotiabank Place, and said some of the magic words that Bruins fans wanted to hear: the Bruins were his team as a kid and Ray Bourque was his hero growing up in the Czech Republic.
“Growing up, the Bruins were my team because Raymond Bourque was my hero, and I always looked up to him as a little kid,” said Kaberle, who immediately becomes a “minutes muncher” at the defenseman position along with Zdeno Chara. “I hope to help out on the power play, and just keep things simple.”
The mere thought of Kaberle talking power play immediately lets the mind wander toward the newest B’s defensemen feeding pucks for Chara one-timers from his left point position – just as Peter Chiarelli envisioned when he mentioned the defensemen point duo of Kaberle and Brian McCabe that used to be so effective in Toronto.
Kaberle would lead the B’s defensemen with 35 assists and 38 points on the season, and his prolific ability to help out on the power play is well documented in an area that Boston needs all kinds of help.
Kaberle said it was difficult to leave the Leafs after 15 years with the organization, but the idea of participating in the playoffs for the first time in five years – after wallowing through the muck and the mire – was something he couldn’t pass up in a city he’s looking to try on for size.
“It’s mixed feelings. I've been with the Leafs for 15 years,” said Kaberle. “It’s sad to leave, but I'm going to a really good organization in Bruins, and I’m really excited to be looking at a chance to play in the playoffs. I’ve watched Boston really get good in the last few years, and it’s exciting to be part of such a good team with good goaltending.”