Mick Colageo of Rink Rap wrote about Matt Bartkowski’s upcoming arbitration hearing:
The rules are basically that the player and team can negotiate right up in time of the scheduled hearing (which would fall between July 20 and Aug. 6), so most cases are avoided at the doorway to the hearing. It avoids all the nasty insults that hurt feelings and erode bargaining power on both sides going forward.
Last week the Bruins put a qualifying offer out on Bartkowski for $650,000, which means that Boston gets sole negotiating rights to that player. The reason the Bruins sent out 11 qualifying offers to their restricted free agents is because if they didn’t guys like Torey Krug and Reilly Smith would be unrestricted free agents at this time. Sometimes you qualify a restricted free agent purely to trade him and acquire some value for him.
That’s what we could see here with Bartkowski.
There’s no shortage of defenseman in the Bruins system who are NHL ready right now. With the usual suspects of Chara, Seidenberg, Boychuk, Hamilton and Krug a lock to be the Bruins’ top 5 of 6 on opening day, there is now four players battling it out for that last spot. Bartkowski, along with Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller and Dave Warsofsky.
Looking at that list of the last four, there seems little trade value out there for Adam McQuaid – who is coming off of injury – and Kevan Miller, but given that they are relatively the same player, one of them will have to go. Don’t forget, Miller signed an extension that was deemed a “one way” contract, meaning if he was demoted to Providence he would have to pass through waivers. A team would certainly grab him, especially because he’s a relatively cheap (800K for the next two season) 6th defenseman.
So it boils down to trading Matt Bartkowski and/or Dave Warsofsky. Warsofsky, if not the 7th defenseman this season, will probably be back in Providence. So that leaves out Matt Bartkowski, who certainly has some value as a 26 year old defenseman who has shown flashes of brilliance at the NHL level.
What this comes down to is that if Bartkowski doesn’t accept the qualifying offer, he and the Bruins will meet with an arbiter.
- Salary Arbitration. Both the player and his current team submit their expectations for the player’s salary for the coming year. The team cannot request a reduction in salary of greater than 15%. The arbitrator hears the case from both player and team and renders a verdict. The verdict sets the salary the team is required to pay the player. After the arbitrator’s verdict is rendered, the team must make a decision within 48 hours of the verdict being rendered. If the team accepts, the player is signed to a new contract at the salary set in the verdict. Should the team decline, the player then becomes an unrestricted free agent.
I think we’re beginning to see the end of Matt Bartkowski in Boston.