Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bruins' Bartkowski Won't Be Hometown Hero

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bruins' Bartkowski Won't Be Hometown Hero

Article excerpt

Like the rest of the hockey world, defenseman Matt Bartkowski was tethered to the web March 27. That night, he kept reading that the Boston Bruins had acquired star winger Jarome Iginla from Calgary.

Unlike others, Bartkowski had a keen personal interest because those reports said he was part of the deal and would be heading to the Flames.

"It was social media," he said Tuesday. "I was just watching the Internet like everybody else."

Then, everything blew up, but Bartkowski has no complaints.

Iginla, invoking a no-movement clause in his contract, chose a deal that sent him to the Penguins instead of Boston. Bartkowski remained with the Bruins, and now will be traveling to his hometown later this week for the start of the Eastern Conference final at 8 p.m. Saturday against Iginla and the Penguins, the team he grew up watching.

"That night, I figured it was a done deal. I think everybody did other than the Penguins," Bartkowski, a Mt. Lebanon native, said. "It was kind of a whirlwind."

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told Bartkowski that the Flames had specifically requested him, which made Bartkowski feel good. But Calgary is sitting out these playoffs while Boston has won two rounds and is eying the Stanley Cup final. That makes him feel even better.

"I never thought it would really all come together in the playoffs, being a regular [in the lineup]," said Bartkowski, who was recalled from the American Hockey League in the first round. "But I'm glad that it did."

The Bruins, who acquired winger Jaromir Jagr from Dallas instead of Iginla, are satisfied with the way things worked out.

"We knew if that [Iginla] trade went through, we were losing a good player; we're really glad to have kept [Bartkowski] here," Boston coach Claude Julien told reporters Tuesday after practice.

Bartkowski is a rookie who will turn 25 in he series against the Penguins. He has played just 20 regular-season NHL games -- four against the Penguins -- but has played in the past seven playoff games, with a goal and an assist. …

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