The Hockey Writers Nashville Predators staff writer Colin Fitts will evaluate the performance of each player on the 2014-15 Predators roster every weekday in alphabetical order. You can follow Colin on Twitter, @FittsTHW.
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 203lbs
Stat Line: 37 GP, 0 G, 10 A, 10 PTS, +1 +/-, 26 PIMS, 77 hits, 53 blocked shots, 13:26 AVG TOI
Playoffs Stat Line: 4 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PTS, 0 +/-, 2 PIMS, 10 hits, 7 blocked shots, 11:21 AVG TOI
*Points at Home vs Away: Home – 0 G, 5 A | Away – 0 G, 5 A
*Giveaway/Takeaway Correlation: 9 giveaways, 2 takeaways
Contract Status: 1 year remaining on a 3-year, $2 million contract ($600,000 cap hit in 2014-15)
Highlight of the Year: Due to an unexpected late scratch to Michael Santorelli because of illness prior to an April 4 game against the Dallas Stars, head coach Peter Laviolette was forced to slot defenseman Victor Bartley as the twelfth forward. Bartley logged 9:24 of time on ice and had a shot on goal in the 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas.
Strengths: Bartley as a team’s sixth or seventh defenseman is a coach’s dream. He knows how to shut down an opposing team’s third line, and he does not making many mistakes in the process. With 77 hits and 53 blocked shots, Bartley is a pure defender.
Weaknesses: It is tough for any defenseman to adjust to the NHL speed when coming from the AHL. Despite 111 games in three seasons under his belt, Bartley is still going through some of the learning curves. Also, he lacks game-breaking abilities and does not have much upside.
What to Expect Next Season: Bartley’s role will change very little despite what happens this off-season with Nashville’s unrestricted free agent defensemen Cody Franson and Anton Volchenkov. He will continue to play that third line shutdown role he has been accustomed to throughout his time with the Predators. What will change, however, is an increased role on the penalty kill. He averaged just 0:35 of shorthanded time on ice last season.
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Colin Fitts is a Nashville Predators staff writer and is a credentialed media member of the Chicago Wolves. From Nashville, Tennessee, Colin majors in journalism and public relations at Columbia College Chicago. Follow him on Twitter, @FittsTHW. Email: 22fitts [at] gmail [dot] com.