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  • Report: Canucks interested in Matt Bartkowski

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    Report: Canucks interested in Matt Bartkowski

    Tim Rosenthal January 28, 2015

    With the March 2nd NHL Trade Deadline approaching, the trade winds are starting to pick up. One report that is gaining steam involves the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins.

    According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Canucks General Manager Jim Benning – a former assistant GM of the Bruins – is interested in acquiring a defenseman after the injury to Kevin Bieksa, and specifically, Matt Bartkowski.

    Speculation of Dreger’s report grew when Ben Kuzma of The Vancouver Province reported that two Bruins scouts were at Rogers Arena during the Canucks’ 4-0 loss to the Ducks on Tuesday night. Boston General Manager Peter Chiarelli is rumored to have an interest in Vancouver forward Zack Kassian.

    Bartkowski has seen more time in the press box this season than time on the ice. In 20 games, the Pittsburgh native has four assists and is averaging 17:40 of ice time. With the Bruins blue line healthy again, it’s safe to assume that Bartkowski, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2014-15 campaign, will continue to be the odd man out going forward.

    Kassian, a first round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2009, had his best season in the NHL in 2013-14 with 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 73 games. He was rewarded with a two-year contract in the off-season, but the right winger has been a big disappointment this season, tallying just five points (two goals, three assists) and sporting a minus-9 rating in 25 games.

    Both Bartkowski and Kassian could benefit from a change of scenery, but would it be worth it for the Black and Gold? Kassian does have another year left on his contract after the conclusion of the season, and right now I can only see him as a fourth line forward, at best. But given the disappointing season for Claude Julien’s energy line, Kassian could give that unit a little boost if he lives up to his potential.

    (S/T Ian McLaren of the Score)

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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