The Bruins announced today that they’d signed Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to a two-year entry-level contract. The deal will start next season. In the meantime, the Charlestown native will join AHL Providence on an amateur tryout agreement.
Grzelcyk was a third-round pick of Boston’s in 2012. After spending four years at BU, if he didn’t sign with the Bruins, he could’ve become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15, a la Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey.
Speaking of whom, Grzelcyk and Vesey are childhood pals, so this — despite the protests of some –will only add to the speculation that Vesey will choose to sign with the B’s this summer.
The Bruins got a couple of bodies back on Thursday with Ryan Spooner and David Krejci both returning to practice prior to leaving for their two-game Western Conference trip through St. Louis (Friday) and Chicago (Sunday).
Claude Julien said following practice that Dennis Seidenberg and Brett Connolly, who didn’t practice, won’t be traveling with the team due to their injuries and will miss the next two games against the Blues and Blackhawks. Austin Czarnik was returned to the Providence Bruins following practice and Seth Griffith will join the team with injuries beginning to gnaw away at their forward depth.
It’s a hugely important trip for the Bruins, who still haven’t locked down a playoff spot and have dropped six of their last seven in regulation. Currently, they’re just one point up on the Red Wings, with both teams having five games remaining, including one against each other a week from today.
The B’s finish the season with three straight at home: Tuesday versus Carolina, Thursday versus Detroit, and Saturday versus Ottawa.
Flyers ‘win’ big with tough losses for Red Wings, Bruins
When it comes to the East playoff races, the biggest winners were generally the teams that didn’t even play. Otherwise, Tuesday stands as an evening of spoilers.
(Heck, the Pittsburgh Penguins almost fell to this pattern as well, but they managed to gut out a shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres.)
The Philadelphia Flyers have to be smiling tonight.
For one thing, the Boston Bruins dropped their sixth of seven games as the New Jersey Devils defeated them 2-1 in regulation. The Bruins had to be gritting their teeth during an unlikely standout game by Keith Kinkaid, as Boston lost despite a 40-15 shot advantage.
The Montreal Canadiens did the Flyers a solid, too, narrowly edging the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 (also in regulation).
Detroit nearly rallied after Petr Mrazek was given an early hook when Montreal went up 2-0, but it wasn’t to be.
The college signings continue with two moves by the Boston Bruins, in both cases with fifth-rounders from the 2011 NHL Draft.
In Tuesday’s case, they signed defenseman Rob O’Gara (pictured in his Yale sweater) and forward Sean Kuraly (who played for Miami of Ohio). The Bruins selected O’Gara with the 151st pick in 2011 while the Sharks initially drafted Kuraly 133rd of that same year and round.
“We are excited to have Rob O’Gara and Sean Kuraly join the Bruins organization,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney said. “They were outstanding college players and both young men have tremendous character and leadership qualities.”
These signings along with Brandon Carlo coming from the WHL will bolster an already-strong P-Bruins roster; the team currently sits third in the Atlantic Division, and has three of the league’s top fifteen scorers, including two of the top five in Seth Griffith and Alexander Khokhlachev.
For Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, Thursday went from humbling to grumbling.
The Florida Panthers beat his Bruins 4-1 tonight, moving to first place in the Atlantic Division, at least for the time being.
It wasn’t just a loss for the Bruins; it was also a fifth defeat in a row. Add in an injury and a frustrating call or two, and Julien’s franchise wins record is probably not on the tip of many tongues.
John Michael-Liles suffered a lower-body injury and was unable to return. It’s unclear how bad it might be beyond that.
INJURY UPDATE: John-Michael Liles will not return due to a lower-body injury.