Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk has been fined $5,000 for spearing Washington Capitals’ forward Max Pacioretty during yesterday’s match up between the two teams. The Capitals won the game by a score of 3-0 with goals from T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, and Dylan Strome. Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren put up an 18-save shutout in a dominant performance.
Towards the end of the first period Grzelcyk speared Pacioretty and was given a major penalty and a game misconduct. Considering the seriousness of the incident, the Bruins defenseman is lucky to escape without a suspension. The money from the fine will be given to the Player’s Assistance Fund.
Grzelcyk has played 38 games for the Bruins this year as a bottom-pairing defenseman. He has scored two goals and seven points along with 31 penalty minutes and a +6 rating. He’s coming off a very strong 2022-23 campaign when he put up 26 points and a ridiculously good +46 rating, which ranked second on the team behind only Hampus Lindholm.
Grzelcyk has played his entire career for the Bruins and was initially selected by them in the third-round of the 2012 NHL Draft. As of now, he has played 420 NHL games in Boston and scored 131 points in that span. He has been present for some of the Bruins greatest moments of the last decade, including the 2019 Stanley Cup finals run and the 2022-23 record-setting regular season.
The 30-year-old is in the final year of the four-year, $14.75 million contract he signed with the Bruins. There have been rumours swirling for over a year that the team might need to trade him to make cap room but he survived the cap crunch and there’s a good chance they’ll bring him back next year. Most likely, he’ll end up with a 3-4 year contract with a similar or lower AAV than the one he is on now.