By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins defenseman and restricted free agent Matt Grzelcyk is among the 26 players to elect salary arbitration this offseason, the National Hockey League Players’ Association confirmed.
The 26-year-old Grzelcyk finds himself in need of a new deal after skating with a $1.4 million cap hit the last two seasons, and after a 2019-20 that featured career-highs. Across the board, really.
In action for a career-high 68 games during the COVID-shortened regular season, Grzelcyk set career-best marks in goals (four), assists (17), points (21), power-play points (seven), plus-minus (plus-15), and shots on goal (112) for the Bruins.
Averaging 18:04 per night, Grzelcyk remained the B’s third-pairing, two-way dynamo despite a revolving door of pairing partners this season, with the Charlestown, Mass. native playing at least 175 five-on-five minutes with four different partners. (His most consistent partner was Connor Clifton, with the duo together for over 225 minutes of action.)
It’ll be interesting to see where the Bruins and Grzelcyk land on a potential new deal, too. With Torey Krug out of the equation thanks to a seven-year deal with St. Louis, and with Zdeno Chara’s Boston future uncertain at best, there’s a very real possibility that the 5-foot-9 Grzelcyk is on the Black and Gold’s top pairing opposite Charlie McAvoy to begin the season.
There’s also the chance that it’s Grzelcyk who takes over for Krug as the quarterback of Boston’s loaded first power-play unit.
Grzelcyk’s arbitration hearing will be on Oct. 20.
The Bruins have over $11 million in projected cap space.