Flames sign Matt Bartkowski to PTO

The Calgary Flames made a minor announcement this morning, singing former Providence Bruin Matt Bartkowski to a PTO with the team. Bartkowski isn’t a household name by any stretch but that’s not stopping the Flames from trying to solve some of the depth issues impacting the team’s blueline.

It’s hard to discern what actual value Bartkowski offers at the NHL level at this point, but he’s in town for now at least and Glen Gulutzan has some understanding of what he can offer from Gulutzan’s time with Vancouver.

Recent years

After his tenure with the Boston Bruins, Bartkowski signed in Vancouver for the 2015-16 season. He posted some passable numbers on what would be regarded as a mediocre Canucks roster with six goals and 12 assists in 80 games. That was good enough for third in defensemen scoring with the team.

In those 80 games with the Canucks, Bartkowski had a 45.75% CF at 5v5. Relative to his peers in 2015-16, his Rel.CF60 (relative Corsi For per 60) of 1.57 was good for third in defenseman. The other side of that is Bartkowski’s limited impact on suppression. His Rel.CA60 (relative Corsi Against per 60) was dead last on the team at 6.06. So the team, with Bartkowski on the ice, saw more shots/shot attempts against.

As his tenure in Vancouver ended, he signed a PTO prior to the start of the 2016-17 season with Ottawa. Nothing culiminated for him in Ottawa so he  rejoined Providence (the Bruins’ AHL affiliate) on a PTO, which ended today. 

In that time with the Provdience Bruins Bartkowski put up two goals and eight assists through 34 games.

What is he?

During his tenure with Boston it looked that Bartkowski had shown some level of promise floating into the belief he could be an NHL regular. In his time with Boston, Bartkowski’s primary partners in order of TOI together were Johnny Boychuk (526.64), Dennis Seidenberg (327.76), and Kevan Miller (201.75). With Boychuk, the pairing did sport a 54.37% CF through 2013-14. 

That said, it’s more likely Boychuk was a contributing factor to that over Bartkowski.

Since then he’s regressed more into a fringe third party/seventh defenseman role, something that doesn’t inherently benefit the Calgary Flames right this minute. Because really, what this team needs is someone to play on the second pairing for the rest of the season, and someone who can create a level of parity that the top pairing can generate.

Is he going to help things?

It’s extremely unlikely unless he becomes a David Schlemko-esque third pairing guy who can jump up occasionally. It’s very likely that he might get some looks in practice, but at the end of the day does he inherently offer more than the existing roster players? Further to that it’s incredibly questionable that he can contribute more than Brett Kulak, who has struggled to get consistent playing time.

Right now he’s a warm body for practices and he might help push some of the team who are chomping at the bit. It’s not a sexy move by management to bring a guy in on a PTO when they’re struggling for consistency across their defensive pairings, but they’re appearing to look around which is something.

Keep in mind that Bartkowsk also qualifies for exposure in the expansion draft which is coming up. If the Flames do decide to sign him, this could spell the end of Jyrki Jokipakka in Calgary. At this point, perhaps the only reason one could argue to keep Jokipakka around would be to meet expansion draft requirements.

(All data via Corsica.Hockey – 5v5 and min. 500 minutes played)

  • Kevin R

    Well we have enough bottom & 7th Dmen to form a curling team & go play in the Briar. It will give them a real on ice feel.

    Tre needs to make a trade, this does Jack!

  • Parallex

    Worst case scenario is that he ends up as a veteran presence in Stockton that eats up a reserve list slot. That’s a small price to pay to ensure that we meet expansion draft requirements.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    That’s Great… OK so if Flames Management are going to blindly stick with GG (@#$%) is This what the Flames are going to be? Canuck & Dallas castoffs? Lets look at who GG Wanted to be brought in, Chaisson, Vey, Higgins, Grossmann and now Bartkowski… THIS IS BRUTAL. Who are we going to trade to make room for these guys? Players who don’t mesh with GG’s system or are struggling, lets see hmmmm? Gaudreau, Brodie, Brouwer? eventually Bennett, Shinkaruk maybe Monahan??? Management better not screw up this rebuild to appease a corsi-driven (should be assistant)Coach who just seems in way over his head, especially Defensively!!!! Seriously This years TDD and NHL Draft/Expansion draft scare the heck out of me with where the Flames Seem to be going! Look what style of play and coaching did to Dubnyk in Edmonton! PLEASE Lets Not Go Down That Same Path!!! BT ~ Stop the Bleeding before the Flames end up the same! Make the Right Choice! Be Smart! Cut Bait with Mistakes(GG) Before they cripple this teams future anymore! (Sorry but this rant has built up since the Arizona game)Cheers FN.

    • Stan

      Wow. You really should apologize, not for ranting, but for posting one of the STUPIDEST comments I have ever read. Seriously, I probably lost a few IQ points before I was even halfway.

      So let me just set the record straight on a couple things:

      1) Lets go through the players you named:

      i) Chiasson – great pickup IMO. Has produced as a decent clip and is perfectly fine in a 3rd or 4th line role. The only problem is that the Flames are currently missing a top line RW, so Chiasson has oft been thrust into a position ill suited to him.

      ii) Vey – depth forward that’s spent 99% of the season in the AHL. Had potential for a bounce back season after dealing with some personal issues lately. Your seriously gonna complain about that?

      iii) Higgins – PTO that was never signed…. What are you even complaining about here?

      iv) Grossman – signed STRICTLY to maximize the flames LTIR salary cap room and his contract was terminated after he served that purpose.

      v) Bartkowski – it’s left to be seen if he is even signed, and a PTO is literally a NO risk way to find out if he can provide some useful depth OR be better than Wideman, which, lets be honest, is a very low bar to clear. It’s also,possible he is signed strictly for expansion draft exposure requirements.

      2) You ask who we have to move to make room for these guys? THE ANSWER IS NOBODY. Did you even think before you typed that out? Have you even looked at the Flames salary cap and contract situation? Clearly not.

      3) God is it ANNOYING AS HECK to repeatedly here the same drivel about GG. It’s the easy way out to blame the system for a players struggles. Honestly, like I’m sorry but after Gaudreau came back from injury he scored at over a PPG pace for about 15 games. THATS ~20% OF THE SEASON. How can you blame the system when a player has SHOWN that he can perform in it? How come the system isn’t destroying the offence of the 3M line? How come tkachuk is thriving? How come Mony has gone on numerous goal and point scoring streaks? THIS ARGUMENT IS RIDICULOUS AND IM TIRED OF HEARING IT. The core of this team is SUPER young, they are going to encounter adversity and show inconsistency. It’s expected for F sake.

      Sorry, but this rant has built up since I’ve had to read posts by idiots like you for basically an entire season. Cheers FN.

      • ThisBigMouthIsRight

        WOW STAN, AREN’T You Full of yourself! Speaking of low IQ Points You have it mastered! Big picture must be a hard thing to understand. Glad you love GG and his Coaching… I Don’t.
        So let me just set the record straight on a couple things:
        1) Chiasson Has Far from been a great signing, he has been OK, Not Great. ESP on the First Line, He sinks the first line like an anchor. But GG kept putting him there.
        2)Vey another reclamation project Not good Nor Bad. Not complaining at all He is just a GG Body that does Nothing much for the progress of the team, again.
        3)Higgins Nothing of value again. But its a pattern of choice of players.
        4)Grossman, How many games did that cost us? He did not need to be played as much as he was. Just like Wideman and the LHS/RHS Stupidity on Defence.
        5) Bartkowski Just More of the Same Pattern of “Types Of Players”! Which is What I am Saying! Sideways moves that take playing time/opportunity away from our young prospects. Its an Accumulation not Just One Player. with No positive upside so far!

        “You ask who we have to move to make room for these guys”? They are called Prospects and not getting a chance up here or being bumped for ice time on the farm.. Big Picture again!
        “God is it ANNOYING AS HECK to repeatedly here the same drivel about GG””. Awe, Boo Hooo.. go to your safe zone If you don’t like the multitudes of Flames Fans Not Enjoying the GG System of Coaching! Sorry Stan, You can make all the Excuses for GG you want but it doesn’t change the facts about this year and how bad the transition has been and where this team currently is playing at.
        Nothing like a rebuttal from a Pompous man baby being insulting and rude to someone who differs with your(obviously self proclaimed superior hockey intellect) is also very petty and childish but I guess everyone who disagrees with you is an idiot! Must be fun at your house! Take care and enjoy the rest of the Season you seem so happy with.
        Cheers FN..

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Stan absolutely destroyed you and that’s you’re best comeback? You sounded like a whiney snot nose. Are you seriously going to take that from a guy like Stan?

          Re-read Stan’s post. I counted no fewer than 4 things that he wrote that you could use to mount a serious counterattack. Stop acting like a turd and use your brains to defend yourself.

          • ThisBigMouthIsRight

            Thanks for your opinion BlueMoonNigel, But I don’t agree with you one bit… But I usually don’t agree with most of your posts either, So No Big. Maybe you and Stan need to get a room… just kidding. It really is OK to disagree with people who are Passionate Flames Fans and Only want the Best for the Team even if they have different ideas as to what that might be or how to achieve it.. I Don’t Like GG’s coaching style as far a ice time LHS/RHS Etc.. So I come here and vent my concerns and frustrations on what seems to be a lost season..
            You want to jump on Stans Bashing of fellow Flames fans that is Your Choice, Thumbs down me al you want, but you don’t have to be childish about it. or do you? lol Whatever, go get a beer and enjoy the game. That is what FN is all about! Cheers FN Go Flames Hope you can turn it up, I don’t mind being proven wrong one bit.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            Why is it childish to tell you to stand up for yourself and not let Stan kick sand in your face? I’m giving you fatherly encouragement and I am not even old enough to legally drink the beer you suggested I have.

          • ThisBigMouthIsRight

            LOL Ok never mind, after re-reading your post I see what you are saying(My bad I misunderstood you). But Getting into name calling on a forum board gets to be pointless and well lets just say its immature. By all means feel free to respond to Stan’s comments and refute were you think he was wrong or mine for that matter. a different perspective is always a conversation starter, positive or negative. As a Father I don’t really see that as great Fatherly advice, but that’s just me. (This Isn’t a dig at you) Its all good, No worries, go have a soda-pop and chill… it all makes sense now. Cheers and Lets hope the Flames can get 2 points tonight! Regardless!

        • Stan

          Not full of myself at all, just call out idiotic opinions when I see them. Which yours undoubtedly is. It’s honestly exhausting listening to so many people blame GG for everything when by most metrics he is seeing success in his FIRST season as calgarys head coach. Where is the accountability for the players?

          Besides that, guess what bud? Even WITH some of the star players underperforming and battling adversity, GG has this team fighting for a playoff spot. This team was never supposed to contend for a cup this year and if you thought they were then you need to manage your expectations, because the way this team is built right now they are a bubble playoff team. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHERE THEY ARE.

          Now, you really set yourself up again so here we go. Round 2 of setting you straight:

          1) Firstly, Chiasson wasn’t signed, he was traded for. I agree completely that he hasnt been great, especially in a first line role. But guess what? We really don’t have ANYONE who is a first line RW. So when that happens players get played in roles they aren’t suited for, which is the case with Chiasson.

          2) Okay, well I don’t even know why you brought up Higgins cause he was never signed lmao he literally never played a regular season game for the team. And Vey is useful depth sooooo why even complain about those two?

          3) I agree that Grossman is trash, but he was literally only signed for salary cap reasons before being terminated. I don’t know why he was played, but the entire team was brutal for the first 10 games of the season so to put those losses solely on him isn’t being intellectually honest.

          4) Oh, so the LH/RH thing on defence is stupid? I guess you would hate Babcock then, seeing as he insists on the same thing. Probably the best coach in the game. Oh and btw, guess what? Brodie and Engelland are second pairing tonight. Two RH shots….

          5) You talk about these players taking time away from prospects, but um, the only one currently playing on the NHL team is Chiasson, and even you said he is fine in a bottom 6 role so wtf are you even complaining about? Besides, Stockton has been absolute trash for the past few months. Who exactly deserves a call up in your eyes?

          6) Change the facts about this year? How bad the transition has been? WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. At this time last year the Flames were 8 points out of a playoff spot. This year they are one point out and right where everybody thought they would be (fighting for a playoff spot). Also, as shown by another FN article today, the team appears to be progressing quite nicely by almost all basic and advanced metrics.

          I just want to finish by saying that you tell me to go to my “safe space”, but it’s clearly you that are butt hurt by getting verbally demolished by an actual well thought out and reasoned argument. And no, not everyone that disagrees with me is an idiot. Just you are. Take a grammar, spelling, and hockey class (or twenty) and then come back and we’ll talk again.

      • jakethesnail

        Our core of young players is exceptional. What is required is the right mix of veterans to support and complement the young guys.

        Hopefully, when things settle down after this season – fat contracts to aging players gone and an expansion draft wrench over.

      • Derzie

        Those you call ‘idiots’ are the ones that are correct. They have not partaken of the kool aid. The players you are defending, in the grand scheme of things, are garbage. The stars, in the grand scheme of things, are under performing.The corsi players, are doing just fine. It’s the NHL, every player does SOME things right but they need to be judged relative to their peers. And our cap is much too high for a team of this quality. Smid on IR is not a get out of jail free card for the GM. This team is underachieving. Period.

      • First Name Unidentified

        Just to be brutally honest, you’re probably the biggest shame in the name of a Flames fan. I don’t actually think you’re a Flames fan because you’re so dumb and you call everyone else here STUPID IN CAPS LOCK. You have no clue how hockey is played. Any legit, credible NHL head coach will never forcibly put Johnny with a racking plug like Chaisson all season. Fack this head coach. He needs to be have been fired 10 years ago from the hockey world so he could continue teaching calculus. But now he can’t even teach that coz he’s lost touch there.

        See what I did there? You’ve probably lost whatever couple of IQ points you had growing up. It’s ok you’re going to be a teenager soon, embrace it. I’ve never personally attacked a poster here unless I get repeatedly attacked for having an opinion that too from a low life like you. Fack off!!

    • everton fc


      He’s probably less a liability than Wideman.

      Funny, too – he was one of the players Feaster really wanted from the Bruins in the Iginla “trade”. Now we got him “on a free”, as they say in “futbol”!

      As for 2nd pairing, Kulak needs to be given a shot there. Jokipaaka could be a nice “piece” to a package deal that includes our first. I hear the Avs wants an NHL-experienced d-man. Throw in Bouma (or Brouwer!) and see if Duchene can be “had”, even if you have to take Iggy back as part of the package (and “no”, I haven’t sorted through the salary cap implications of my “dream” move!)

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Well, on the bright-side, Maybe they have a Wideman trade in worked out… Meh, One can Hope.(but as someone pointed out, Bart isn’t a RHS So its Doubtful.
    Cheers FN.

  • JoelOttosJock

    Sounds like we now have the Norris winner In Bartowski, not bad..will look good with the Hart and Pearson winner Stajan. Seems like a stupid signing to me, just taking the Canucks and Stars recycled garbage..well that’s going to help with the rebuild..ha..just shows that treliving is getting ready to wash dishes at Boston pizza. The flames are a joke, we made so much fun of our counter parts up north but we are worse..we witnessed their mistakes on how not to run a team and then go ahead and do it ourselves, but worse.