Flames sign Matt Bartkowski to two-year, two-way deal

As expected in preparation for the NHL Expansion Draft on June 21, the Calgary Flames made a further step to solidifying who they’ll be protecting and exposing. It just looks like Matt Bartkowski, who signed a two-year, two-way contract today, will be the sacrificial lamb for June.

Still, though, it’s a positive sign that the organization is planning ahead – carefully I might add – about how and who is potentially Vegas bound.

UPDATE: $612,000 AAV via CapFriendly.

We’ve already detailed who and what Bartkowski is at this stage in his career in two separate posts, which you can read here and here. For the time being though, we can see some semblance of a plan for the expansion draft creeping out from the front office. It’s all but written in stone that Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, and T.J. Brodie will be protected.

This team is caught in a precarious situation where they’re a fringe playoff team right now, fighting for points every night, and hoping St. Louis, Nashville or Los Angeles drop out soon. You can’t (really, you could though) make a huge trade shoring up help for the second pairing by trading away assets for a player that will have to be exposed at this rate.

There are just no easy answers for the front office and for Brad Treliving. In some ways you can attempt to make the case that he has backed himself and the team into this situation. On the other hand, it’s kind of nice that they have accrued quite a bit of talent to protect at forward. 

Maybe for Bartkowski the team can squeeze as much value as possible out of him before the end of the season; and next season, too. We know that Jyrki Jokipakka at this rate is probably on the outs with the team after his season so far. Dennis Wideman, who strips years off fans’ lives with his indiscretions on ice is long gone at the end of the season, thankfully. 

Brett Kulak, as discussed earlier today, and speculated on Twitter could be on his way back to Stockton to see consistent playing time again.

Finally with regards to Deryk Engelland, whose name has been touted recently as a potential option to re-sign, isn’t ideal for how this team is transitioning. Remember, he’ll be 35 by the end of the season. Investing any sum of money in a player who has aged well beyond his prime is an egregious risk. It would be asinine given the wealth of talent in Stockton who will be chomping at the bit come this fall. 

Regardless, if the team can put Bartkowski in a situation to play and where it won’t create a negative on-ice impact over a Wideman or a Jokipakka then it’s worth trying at this point. 

    • JoelOttosJock

      I would never cheer for the flames again if they traded for Iginla. He is part of the reason this team was/is in shambles. I’d rather resign Wideman and Stajan to league max contracts.

  • freethe flames

    Flames are likely to send Kulak down after the poker tournie. Bartkowski allows them some flexibility to possibly move JJ. Unfortunately it does not end the RHD issue unless GG trusts Bart to play on the rside.

  • Graham

    Bartkowski was signed from a PTO so he didn’t cost us an asset, likely didn’t sign for much (at least by NHL standards), it’s essentially a one year and a few months contract, and he meets the criteria to be exposed for the expansion draft… cheap insurance for the Flames, if he is a serviceable 6/7 guy that’s a bonus….

  • everton fc

    Unrelated – only to stir up conversation;

    1. Would anyone take Iginla for Wideman straight up?

    2. Would anyone have interest in Curtis Lazar out of Ottawa?

    • Parallex

      “1. Would anyone take Iginla for Wideman straight up?”

      Sure, lot’s of people would… but Joe Sakic and Dennis Wideman probably wouldn’t (and they have a say in it).

      • Prototype369

        For wideman straight up? Why not? The cap hit will be nearly identical, and both contracts end at the end if this season. That means Versteeg plays top line, frolik plays second line, Iggy is 3rd line, and your choice of Bouma, Hathaway, F. Hamilton or Chiasson are on the 4th. The most important thing, we don’t give up assets, and we lose Wideman

        • everton fc

          Iggy was a “hypothetical”. Lazar was not. To me, Lazar’s like Shinkaruk. Would Poirier be enough to move him West? I wonder…

          Back to Iggy. Brouwer’s going to be w/Gaudreau and Monahan. On RW, Frolik’s not moving. You’d be replacing Chiasson with Iginla on the 3rd line w/Bennett and Versteeg. 4th line is Ferland-Stajan-Hathaway.

          “Perhaps”…

          All that said (again, “dreaming out loud here”) Chiasson’s done well here, when used to his skill set. Hathaway deserves ice-time over Bouma, in my opinion – yet we won last night, and Bouma didn’t hurt us.

          Circling back to topic… I bet we do very little at the deadline. Bartkowski may very well be it.

  • Davebot

    I really hope he is just here to prepare for the expansion draft. He had a horrible season in Vancouver last year and he looks to be about as bad as Wideman in the fancy stats department (even if you include his last year as a Bruin).

    Fun Fact: that he’s on the ice for more goals against than Wideman (I know, I thought that was impossible).

    Imagine a slightly younger, faster Wideman with less hockey IQ.

    Shudder.

    I am only ok with trying him at the NHL level if the team is already mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    With both Kulak AND Wotherspoon in Stockton (assuming they send Brett down… the blueline down there should be down right respectable. Maybe they can start pulling out some 2-1 or 1-0 wins?