Boston Bruins: Grading the signing of Matt Grzelcyk

Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

There’s finally some good news for the Boston Bruins, as they’ve signed defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to a four-year deal.

The Boston Bruins have not had a good offseason. Not only did they lose defenseman Torey Krug, they’ve failed to re-sign team captain Zdeno Chara and have watched their division rivals improve. But there’s finally some good news for the Bruins, as they’ve re-signed RFA defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.

Grzelcyk should replace Krug as the Bruins’ second pairing defenseman. He’s done quite a good job on their third pairing. During the 2019-20 season, Grzelcyk set career highs with four goals, 17 assists, and 21 points in 68 games, which was also a career-high for him.

In 12 postseason games, he had one assist in 12 games while averaging 19:46 of ice time per game.

More from Puck Prose

Contract Details

It’s a four-year deal worth $14.714 million. The deal has a $3.6875 million cap hit. Here’s how the deal is structed, according to Pierre LeBrun.

  • 2020-21: $2.25 million
  • 2021-22: $4 million
  • 2022-23: $4.25 million
  • 2023-24: $4.25 million

Grading The Contract

Overall, this is a pretty good deal for the Bruins. Grzelcyk has been very impressive, especially at 5v5. With more minutes, better linemates, and power play time, it wouldn’t surprise me if Grzelcyk topped 30 points next season.

Most of his value comes from his defense, where he has been consistently great at suppressing quality chances against. He’s also solid on both ends of special teams, though it’s worth noting his usage on both ends has been rather limited.

Grzelcyk has shown an ability to drive play on both ends of the ice, as he had the second highest relative expected goals for per hour  (second only to Charlie McAvoy) and the best relative expected goals against per hour rate among Bruins defensemen. What’s more impressive is he’s done this despite starting the third-most shifts in the defensive zone per hour among Bruins defensemen.

Next. Every Team's Greatest Player Of All-Time. dark

While Grzelcyk has never played second pairing minutes for an extended period of time, his time as a third-pairing defenseman was quite encouraging and it makes me believe there’s something more to his game.

Grade: B. There is a tad bit of risk here, but I think Grzelcyk is ready to make the leap to the second pairing.