Boston Bruins: Bringing Back Bartkowski a Good Move for the Organization
With that, Matt Bartkowski is now the P-Bruins blueliner with the most experience on the team, having logged a cumulative 119 games played over the last two seasons. As of this week, he is officially locked in for another year in the black and gold family with a two-way deal.
While Chiarelli effectively replaced Bodnarchuk’s seasoning with the signing of NHL and AHL veteran Garnet Exelby, Bartkowski’s familiarity with the environs and system will be a key to reversing Providence’s fortunes.
The P-Bruins have gone each of the last three seasons without a berth in the Calder Cup playoffs. Last year’s ill fate was owed largely to an array of injuries and an unripe defensive brigade that was young even by AHL standards.
In the coming campaign, there promises to be a returning core that ought to have grown and learned from its baptismal fire.
Barring any additional transactions besides the import of Exelby, Bartkowski will be joined by fellow third-year professional Colby Cohen, along with a host of returning sophomore blueliners in Ryan Button, Zach McKelvie, Kevan Miller and David Warsofsky. Prospective rookies include Tommy Cross, Zach Trotman and, if things get too crowded in Boston, Torey Krug.
For what it’s worth, after a minus-17 rookie campaign in 2010-11, Bartkowski improved to an even rating last year. Despite being limited to 50 games by injuries and a brief promotions to Boston, he tallied 19 assists for an average of 0.38 per night—a playmaking pace matched only by forward Max Sauve and exceeded only by top producer Carter Camper.
Among P-Bruins regulars―those who saw action in more than half of the 76 games―only Miller (plus-20 to run away with the team lead) and three forwards bested Bartkowski in the plus/minus department.
Bartkowski, who saw action in six NHL games as a rookie and three this past year, will be a natural candidate for a call-up in times of need. Although, with his 408 games of experience, Exelby may be ahead of him on that list, and the overtly physical Miller will be worth watching if he can stave off a sophomore slide.
Bartkowski’s chief task for 2012-13 should be continuing to prove himself worthy of regular NHL employment further down the road and helping his Providence teammates in the same endeavor.
With a naturally revamped defensive core led by Bartkowski’s two-way proficiency, the P-Bruins should be spending more time with the puck and more time outside of their zone than in 2011-12.
In turn, an offense stocked with returning regulars, as well as such new faces as Chris Bourque, Christian Hanson, Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, ought to have a stronger showing than its immediate predecessors.
Even if it does not bloom until around the midway point of the season, the resultant effect will be a stable of more reliable reinforcements if and when injuries plague the parent club. That was what happened around and after the halfway mark of both the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons, at which time NHL-ready prospects were scarce in the Bruins’ system.
With a more consistent, competitive lineup, the P-Bruins will ultimately have a much more refreshing selection of call-ups for their parent club to dip into. But it figuratively, and almost literally, starts with an effective breakout and transition.
The presence of Bartkowski, officially the AHL Bruins’ longest-tenured defenseman as of last Friday, better ensures that.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?