The Boston Bruins have avoided an arbitration case and re-signed one of their restricted free agents inking defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to a four-year contract worth $14.75 million and one that carries an annual salary cap hit of $3.6 million.
As BHN Lead Bruins Reporter Joe Haggerty reported earlier on Saturday, Grzelcyk’s agents from Global Hockey Consultants, Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli were closing in on a new deal with the Bruins for the former Boston University star and Charlestown, Massachusetts native. Given the recent departure of powerplay quarterback and defenseman Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk has become one of the anointed ones within the Bruins organization to be part of a committee on the blue line to fill the offensive void Krug left behind. Grzelcyk came off a career-high 68 games in this COVID-paused season and also reached career highs in goals (four), assists (17), points (21), power-play points (seven), plus-minus (plus-15), and shots on goal (112) for the Bruins.
Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney touched on Grzelcyk’s higher value to the team and how that impacted negotiations.
“I think Matt has proven he can play anywhere on the left side. It might just depend on the matchup. We think the power play component will continue to grow [for Grzelcyk],” Sweeney told the media Saturday evening.
The Bruins now have $7.3 million in cap space with restricted free agent forwards Jake DeBrusk, Karson Kuhlman, and Zach Senyshyn still left to lock up. They’re also in constant conversation with the captain and now unrestricted free agent Zdeno Chara on a potential new contract with the Bruins for the 45-year-old. Sweeney said that things were status quo with Chara just two days after Chara’s agent Matt Keator told TSN and Athletic NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun that Chara was “looking at all options” and that includes playing for another team.
“We are consistently communicating with Zdeno,” Sweeney said Saturday.
Sweeney didn’t sound like Bruins fans should expect a blockbuster trade or marquee signing anytime soon but did say he’s not necessarily closed for business either.
“We continue to look for depth opportunities or players that are in trade conversations that can fill a hole we have to fill,” Sweeney said.