Bartkowski joined the Flames on a Professional Try-Out (PTO) on Wednesday morning, after spending the first half of the season on a minor-league contract with the Providence Bruins. It’s his second PTO this season, after going unsigned by the Ottawa Senators back in training camp. The defenseman had two goals and 10 points in 34 games during his second stint in the Bruins organization. He has six goals and 42 points in 211 NHL games, split between Boston and Vancouver.
It’s a strategic signing by GM Brad Treliving; because Bartkowksi is under contract for this year and next, he will count towards the Flames’ expansion draft requirement of exposing one defenseman who has played 40 games in this season or 70 games over the previous two seasons. Bartkowski appeared in 80 games with the Vancouver Canucks last season, and therefore satisfies the requirement.
Bartkowski joined the Canucks after five seasons with the Bruins. He was brought over by Canucks GM Jim Benning, who was previously in the Bruins front office. In Calgary, he’ll be playing under head coach Glen Gulutzan, who was the assistant coach with the Canucks last season. The Flames are looking for defensive help, and while Bartkowski is a bottom-pairing defenseman, he’ll get a shot with the big club under a familiar face in Gulutzan.