(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On X (Formerly Twitter) @adbblue

Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk did not participate in Thursday’s practice, according to Scott McLaughlin of WEEI, and is day to day. Grzelcyk was banged up in Tuesday’s overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild. 

The injury occurred after he was driven hard into the end boards by Wild forward Marcus Foligno and was in clear discomfort upon getting up. He did return and finish the game, but clearly, it’s something that is still lingering. 

The Bruins are headed on a three-game road trip that starts against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow night. They then play a back-to-back against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night and finish it up against the Buffalo Sabres the following Wednesday. But it remains to be seen if the team will recall a defenseman from AHL Providence.

Grzelcyk has already missed ten games this season after being placed on LTIR back on November 1st. In 20 games, he has just one goal and no assists for one point, and he is -3. Very uncharacteristic of the Charlestown, MA native, who is a great puck distributor. Perhaps being banged up has been a factor in his lack of point production. 

Injuries have been an ongoing theme with Grzelcyk throughout his career. The 5’10 defenseman has had a difficult time staying healthy, with his career high for games played in season 75 last year. And he’s only played more than 70 games one other time in his eight-year NHL career. 

The 2012 Bruins third-round pick is also in a contract year and will be an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming off-season. It’s not ideal for Grzelcyk, as not being able to stay healthy will undoubtedly affect his off-season market value. He is currently a $3.687 million cap hit with the Bruins. 

Grzelcyk could be placed on injured reserve, which means he will have to miss at least seven days of team activities. Doing that would also free up a roster spot for Boston and make it easier to be cap-compliant. However, that is undecided as of now. The Bruins are already without Derek Forbort, who is on LTIR, and they seemingly haven’t been able to stay healthy on the blueline all season.