Bruins

Could the Grzelcyk two-year contract be a harbinger of B's trades to come?

Could the Grzelcyk two-year contract be a harbinger of B's trades to come?

The term (two years) and the money involved (a total of $2.8 million for a $1.4 million cap hit each of the next two seasons) from the Bruins are pretty much dead on for restricted free agent Matt Grzelcyk after a deal was announced late Friday afternoon. 

The timing, however, was a little interesting from the Bruins as Grzelcyk marks the first of a large group of free agents that B’s general manager Don Sweeney has to make decisions on ahead of the July 1 open of NHL free agency. One could surmise the Bruins wrapped up talks with the 24-year-old D-man to get some cost certainty for him ahead of next week’s NHL Draft weekend in Dallas, and that all might just factor into trade discussions next week. 

Clearly it’s good value for Grzelcyk after three goals and 15 points along with a solid plus-21 in 61 games for the Bruins last season while just scratching the surface of his efficient, smooth-skating puck-moving abilities. 

If the Bruins were to dangle Torey Krug, for instance, in trade discussions next week in Dallas amid greater efforts to bring a big, left shot D-man like Noah Hanifin or Oskar Klefbom back in return, they would already want to have Grzelcyk locked up ahead of any such hockey wheeling and dealing. The Bruins have a number of different avenues that could go down whether it’s attempting to dump big salaried contracts like David Krejci or David Backes, or flipping several blue-chip prospects/young players to get a young D-man like Hanifin. 

But the largest amount of trade interest they’re going to find for one of their higher-salaried players is for the 27-year-old Krug, who piled up 110 points over the last two NHL seasons in Boston. Krug is at the apex of his value around the league after amassing all those points over the last two seasons, and his QB skills on Boston’s top power-play unit have been a key part of the B’s special teams’ success story over the last few years. But the Bruins have a budding, young power play QB in Charlie McAvoy ready to take on more responsibility and pump up his own point production, and they have a younger, small left shot puck-moving D-man in Grzelcyk that brings some Krug-like qualities to the table minus some of the high-end offensive finish.

The big difference when it comes to Krug: He’s making in excess of $5 million per season while McAvoy and Grzelcyk are still low-cost young players. It’s pretty simple to do the math as to what makes the most logical sense for the Bruins from a salary cap perspective with a couple of young players set to get some salary raises after this coming hockey season.  

There’s also the simple truth that the 5-foot-9, 186-pound D-man has wound up injured in each of the last two postseasons. A left side of Boston’s back end with a soon-to-be 42-year-old Zdeno Chara and smaller D-men in Krug and Grzelcyk isn’t sturdy enough or diversified enough to really be effective against the good teams deep in the playoffs, so it’s pretty clear that a change needs to be made for the Black and Gold. 

Could the two-year contract for Grzelcyk be the first domino to fall in a succession of moves in the next few weeks that leads to Krug getting moved to a team desperate for some power play punch like Carolina or Edmonton? It could be a coincidence that the Bruins took care of this deal ahead of next week’s NHL Draft, or more likely the Bruins are getting their ducks in a row in case they need to pull the trigger quickly on something they believe will end up making them a better, more well-rounded hockey club. 

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Bruins-Hurricanes simulation: Canes beat B's 1-0 on flukey goal

Bruins-Hurricanes simulation: Canes beat B's 1-0 on flukey goal

The NHL season has been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, meaning we may have to wait a while to watch the Boston Bruins again.

As a way to make up for the loss of Bruins action, we'll be using the EA Sports NHL 20 video game to simulate each game on Boston's schedule until they finally return to action.

Previous Simulations:

The Boston Bruins were supposed to take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at PNC Arena, here's how our simulation of that game went.

The B's fell to the Canes 1-0 on a flukey third-period goal that slipped by Tuukka Rask. 

Here are the game stats:

Three Stars of the Game + Game Stats

Anton Forsberg, Tuukka Rask and Andrei Svechnikov were the three stars of the game. The Hurricanes led in shots with 25 and they also had three power-play opportunities that they squandered. The Bruins seemed to have passed too much in the offensive zone and didn't take enough shots on goal in the loss when comparing the shots to their time on attack.  

Bruins Individual Stats

Charlie McAvoy led all B's skaters in ice time with 23:42 while David Krejci and David Pastrnak each had three shots on goal. Tuukka Rask stopped 24 of 25 shots in the loss, but the defense didn't help them out too much.

Hurricanes Individual Stats

Jaccob Slavin led all Hurricanes skaters in ice time with 24:11 and Martin Necas led in shots with four. Anton Forsberg stopped all 17 shots faced and the Hurricanes sneak by with a flukey goal from Andrei Svechnikov.

FINAL SCORE: Hurricanes 1, Bruins 0

Bruins Record (Includes simulated games): 47-16-14 (107 points)

*NOTE: We did not include Boston's games against the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs or Florida Panthers in the simulation, therefore the simulated record isn't 100 percent accurate*

Next Simulation: vs. St. Louis Blues on Thursday

Be sure to keep an eye out for our Bruins vs. Blues simulation which is set to drop on Thursday.

We aren't the only ones enjoying sports video games to pass the time and get their competitive fix. Even the B's Anton Blidh is enjoying his time off with a little virtual sports action.

Phil Esposito set impressive Bruins goal scoring record on this day in 1971

Phil Esposito set impressive Bruins goal scoring record on this day in 1971

March 31 is a special day in the history books of the Boston Bruins franchise.

Hall of Fame forward Phil Esposito scored his 70th goal (an NHL record at the time) of the 1970-71 season on this day, becoming the first Bruins player to hit that goal-scoring milestone.

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Check out the graphic below for more information:

Esposito's 76 goals in the 1970-71 season still stand as a Bruins record for a single campaign.

Bruins right winger David Pastrnak was making a run at 60 goals earlier this season. The 23-year-old star currently sits at 48 goals with the season suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Pastrnak is tied for the league lead with Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.

If the 2019-20 season doesn't resume or the league decides to go straight to the Stanley Cup Playoffs upon returning, Pastrnak would be the first Bruins player to win or share the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer since Esposito in 1974-75.