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Boston Bruins Countdown To Camp: Matt Grzelcyk



Boston Bruins

From now until the beginning of training camp, Boston Hockey Now is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2022-23 Boston Bruins. Today’s player: Matt Grzelcyk.

Social Media handles: Instagram – @matt.grzelcyk

What Happened Last Year: In the second season of a four-year, $14.7 million contract ($3.6M AAV), Matt Grzelcyk didn’t exactly generate the offense on a consistent basis that the Bruins were hoping for when they signed Grzelcyk to that contract following the COVID-interrupted and shortened season. The 28-year-old, 5-foot-nine, 178-pound, Charlestown, MA native had four goals and 20 assists in 73 games after scoring five goals and notching 15 assists in 37 games in the 56-game shortened 2021 NHL regular season. Grzelcyk battled a shoulder injury for 50 games and into the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs and that limited him to five games in the seven-game series loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the opening round. He had no points and was a minus 6 in those five games.

The not-so-good: Grzelcyk (shoulder surgery) will likely start the season on long-term injury reserve and is expected to be out until November.

Questions To Be Answered This Season: The biggest question will obviously be how Grzelcyk responds to his reconstructed shoulder and then, can he regain the form that had the Boston Bruins believing he was a bonafide top 4 defenseman?

In Their Words: “I had a dislocated shoulder that happened at home against Winnipeg, so I need to get surgery next week. I’m not sure of the timetable, but I’ll probably miss the start of the season. It was quite difficult just not feeling like myself. Pain-wise it would keep popping in and out, and that’s why I’d have to miss a game or two to let things calm down.

“I’m just looking forward to being healthy again. It really limited what I was able to do out there. Just getting through practice some days was pretty tough, but I’d definitely make that decision again to gut it out and try to help the team.” – Matt Grzelcyk on his injured shoulder when addressing the media after his exit meetings last May.

Overall Outlook: This could be a big season for Grzelcyk before he heads into his walk year in 2023-24. If he can regain that top 4 pairing form, then he’ll be lining up nice to stay with the Boston Bruins beyond the 2023-24 season. However, if he struggles again and can’t stay healthy, the Boston Bruins may look into trading him next season as they filter in younger defensemen.

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