Matt Bartkowski, D:
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
Should He Be Re-signed? No.
Matt Bartkowski’s play has been much-maligned this year – and with good reason.
Bartkowski’s unforced errors in the defensive zone have too often turned a simple zone exit into a panicked melee as teammates who thought they had ample time for a line change now must scramble back to help or jump onto the bench while their replacement scrambles back in desperation.
While Bartkowski has fine skating ability and is more physical than, say, Tanev or Ben Hutton, he often makes poor decisions in his own end.
Will Benning Re-sign Him? Maybe.
The decision to re-sign Bartkowski partly hinges on what happens with Dan Hamhuis. If Hamhuis signs elsewhere, Jim Benning may feel he has no choice but to turn to Bartkowski for veteran leadership.
Benning acquired Bartkowski last off-season specifically because of his aforementioned skating ability, which is certainly nothing to be scoffed at. Bartkowski is able and willing to carry the puck through the neutral zone, rather than simply handing it off to a forward at the first opportunity. It is his decision-making at either blueline which can be suspect.
Still, Bartkowski’s services, such as they are, may still be needed in Vancouver.
Next: Yannick Weber