Matt Grzelcyk’s days as a third-pairing defenseman look like over.
Grzelcyk, the Charlestown, Mass., native and Boston College product who already appeared destined to maneuver up the depth chart after Torey Krug joined the Blues as an unrestricted free agent earlier this month, moved up the Bruins’ wage chart on Saturday, avoiding arbitration by signing a four-year contract with a wage cap hit of roughly $3.7 million yearly.
Grzelcyk, 26, who turned a restricted free agent when two-year contract ($1.4 million per season) expired shortly after the conclusion of the NHL season, is now the Bruins’ second-highest paid defenseman, behind Charlie McAvoy’s $4.9 million per 12 months. Grzelcyk and the Bruins have been scheduled to go earlier than an arbitrator on Tuesday, however B’s normal supervisor Don Sweeney stated late Saturday afternoon that the 2 sides hadn’t exchanged briefs forward of the listening to.
Grzelyck, who graduated to the NHL in 2017-18 after spending his rookie professional season of 2016-17 at AHL Windfall, has performed a third-pairing position for the final three years, including power-play time on the Bruins’ second unit. After spending most of his first two seasons paired with veteran Kevan Miller, he was thrust into extra of a mentor position this previous season, typically enjoying with less-experienced teammates like Connor Clifton and Jeremy Lauzon on his proper facet.
He is coming off his greatest marketing campaign, through which he performed a career-high 68 video games regardless of the Bruins’ common season being shortened to 70 by the pandemic. Grzelcyk additionally established career-best marks for objectives (4), assists (17) and factors (21). He averaged 18 minutes, 4 seconds of ice time, which ranked fifth behind McAvoy (23:10), Zdeno Chara (21:01), Krug and Brandon Carlo (20:29 apiece).
Grzelcyk’s new deal brings some readability to the left facet of the Bruins’ protection, which incorporates Lauzon and veteran John Moore together with prospects Jakub Zboril and Urho Vaakanainen. Nonetheless to be decided, nonetheless, is the standing of Chara, the 43-year-old captain who stays an unrestricted free agent. Sweeney stated Saturday that the B’s are “simply ready for (Chara) to provoke what he’d love to do, shifting ahead.”
Chara, a Bruin since 2006-07, has performed the final two seasons on one-year contracts at diminished charges ($2 million final season). He stated upon the conclusion of the season that he desires to proceed enjoying in Boston.