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Penguins acquire Zolnierczyk from Ducks - 06-24-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins have acquired left winger Harry Zolnierczyk from the Ducks in exchange for defensive prospect Alex Grant.

Zolnierczyk, 25, appeared in seven NHL games last season, all with the Flyers, and recorded on assist along with 36 penalty minutes. In 61 AHL games last season split between Adirondack and Norfolk, Zolnierczyk scored 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) and recorded 68 penalty minutes.

Zolniercyk is not stranger to the Penguins. As a member of the Flyers, he boarded Robert Bortuzzo in a wild 6-5 win by the Flyers Feb. 20:

Later in the season, Zolneirczyk received a four-game suspension for a hit on Senators defenseman Mike Lundin March 2:

In 2011-12, Zolnierczyk appeared in 37 NHL games with the Flyers and scored six points (three goals, three assists) 35 penalty minutes.

Penguins fans may remember Zolnierczyk for a fight with Joe Vitale in the final regular season game of 2011-12 which was seen as payback for a hit by Vitale which injured Flyers forward Daniel Briere a week earlier:

Zolnierczyk also fought Tyler Kennedy earlier that season in Philadelphia:

Scheduled to become a restricted free agent July 5, Zolnierczyk (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) is finishing a one-year two-way contract with a salary cap hit of $600,000 at the NHL level. The Penguins must extend a qualifying offer to him by July 1 to retain his rights.

Undrafted out of Brown University, Zolnierczyk debuted as a professional late in the 2010-11 season with Adirondack.

In 2008, Zolnierczyk received a three-year conditional discharge from an Ontario provicial court for his part in the production and distribution of a pornographic video involving an underage girl.

Grant, 24, appeared in 46 games this past season for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and scored 20 points (four goals, 16 assists). A fourth-round pick in 2007. Grant is scheduled to become a restricted free agent July 5.

EN Says: This is a depth move. The Penguins dealt from a position for strength and numbers on defense in order shore up a position with relatively few numbers organizationally at forward.

Zolnierczyk fourth liner who will bring energy. He doesn't offer much of a scoring touch but isn't afraid to hit anyone.  In that role, he should be an ideal fit for the Penguins' style of play at either the NHL or AHL levels.

Don't expect Zolnierczyk's additon to impact the fate of any of the Penguins' free agents at the NHL level. Matt Cooke and Craig Adams are each unrestricted free agents and have been major parts of the Penguins' penalty kill. Zolnierczyk has averaged all of 13 seconds of penalty kill time in his 44-game NHL career .

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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