Are or have the Pittsburgh Penguins looked into acquiring Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk on the NHL trade market?
A Penguins team source confirmed Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now that Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas has been formulating backup plans in case he is unable to win the Erik Karlsson NHL trade sweepstakes. Should the reigning Norris Trophy winner not wind up playing for the Penguins this coming season and beyond, other sources suggested to Kingerski keeping an eye on Grzelcyk as part of that backup plan.
From Kingerski in his post at PHN on Friday morning:
‘Sources indicated one name to keep an eye on is Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, a left-handed puck-mover with a high hockey IQ and quick skates who makes good breakout passes but is only 5-foot-9. It should be noted Bruins GM Don Sweeney last week expressed exasperation with Grzelcyk trade rumors, chiding the Boston media.
That would not preclude Dubas from checking on Grzelcyk or kicking the tires. Grzelcyk, 29, has one year left on a four-year deal with a $3.687 million salary cap hit. Last season, he had 26 points (4-22-26) in 75 games. He was also a plus-46.’
The reference to Sweeney being perturbed by the barrage of NHL trade rumors surrounding Grzelcyk came from Sweeney’s press conference last Saturday. At the end of the presser, Sweeney was asked point-blank about the Grzelcyk NHL trade rumors.
“I didn’t start any rumors. So, you want to ask me where they came from?” Sweeney replied, seemingly exasperated. “You want to look in the mirror? Maybe you guys started them, you know, is it hypothetical that they’re having conversations about players, our lineup? No. It’s a fact, and there’s no question that I’m never going to discuss whether or not a team has called me. That’s just the job. It doesn’t matter who it is. That’s disrespectful to a player, from my point of view, being a former player.
So, in that case, we know that Matt can play with Charlie McAvoy in a top-player role and play well. We split around the lineup and how we were composing our lineup and making some decisions at the moment. Yeah, he was in and out a lot. Orlov was a really good player, and I wish him luck in Carolina. Still, Matt is a hockey player, you know, and we feel, as I referenced earlier, he plays a big part in a lot of success in the regular season, and he will be part of a lot of success going forward and is very comfortable within our lineup.”
Numerous sources have confirmed to Boston Hockey Now throughout the offseason and since Sweeney said this last Saturday that Sweeney has indeed had conversations involving Grzelcyk, as well as NHL trade conversations about goalies Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, defensemen Brandon Carlo and Derek Forbort, and forwards Jake DeBrusk, and Trent Frederic. That doesn’t mean that the Bruins are necessarily shopping any or all of those players, but rather that teams have inquired about them.