| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pens acquire tough guy Zolnierczyk

Penguins/NHL Videos

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
By Josh Yohe
Monday, June 24, 2013, 2:45 p.m.

The Penguins became a little tougher Monday.

General manager Ray Shero dealt defenseman Alex Grant, an AHL prospect, to Anaheim for forward Harry Zolnierczyk. Best known for his aggressive antics with the Flyers during the past two seasons, Zolnierczyk has played 44 career games, mustering 71 penalty minutes. While playing on Philadelphia's fourth line, he produced three goals and seven points in those games.

“It was shocking news,” said Zolnierczyk, 25. “But to be honest, I'm really excited about this trade. I hope I'll be a great fit. I'm really looking forward to being in Pittsburgh.”

Zolnierczyk was suspended four games in March for a charging infraction against Ottawa's Mike Lundin. Philadelphia traded him to Anaheim a couple of weeks later.

“What attracts you to him is that speed and that he is physical,” Shero said. “He's never proven to be an elite finisher at any level, but he plays with a lot of speed and he's shown that he can be a bottom-six guy in the NHL.”

Zolnierczyk promised that he will offer protection for Penguins stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin when necessary.

“By no means do I consider myself an enforcer,” said Zolnierczyk. “But I am an agitator and I'm always going to stick up for my teammates.”

Zolnierczyk is a restricted free agent, but neither he nor the Penguins believes reaching a contract agreement will be a problem.

Grant was the Penguins' fourth- round selection in 2007 but hasn't played in the NHL.

“They've (the Penguins) done such a good job drafting defensemen that it's tough to earn a spot in the lineup,” Grant said.

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Penguins

  1. Penguins’ reshuffled top line of Crosby, Dupuis, Kunitz looks familiar
  2. Penguins notebook: Maatta making strides at practice
  3. Penguins centermen enjoying better faceoff success rate this season
  4. Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
  5. Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
  6. Penguins notebook: Players prepared for tough schedule in minors
  7. Penguins notebook: Cole more at ease facing former team
  8. Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
  9. Penguins notebook: GM: Pouliot timeline has not changed despite legal run-in
  10. Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues
  11. Penguins notebook: Blues defenseman Bortuzzo sticks to brutish ways