The Vancouver Canucks filled a hole left by Kevin Bieksa by adding young defenceman Matt Bartkowski – signing the free agent to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.75-million according to Joe Haggerty.
After playing 64 games with the Bruins in 2013-14, the blueliner dropped to just 47 games with Boston this past season. Bartkowski hasn’t been overly impressive offensively over his young career with only 24 points in 131 regular season games.
Bartkowski has yet to score his first regular season game, but has added three points (1g-2a) in 15 career playoff games. The 27-year-old was a seventh round pick by the Florida Panthers in 2008 and didn’t break into the NHL until 2010-11 with the Bruins.
The Bartkowski signing comes in addition to the Canucks trading away Zack Kassian for the services of former Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust. Bartkowski will likely have a better opportunity in Vancouver with more playing time and a chance to start over.
Bartkowski had a career high 18 points (0g-18a) in 64 games in 2013-14 to go along with a plus-22 rating and 30 penalty minutes.
For all the latest moves from Free Agent Frenzy, check out The Hockey Writers’ live free agent tracker.
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Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.