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With a July 30 arbitration hearing looming, the Bruins and defenseman Matt Bartkowski decided to skip out on a late July trip to Toronto.

Bart is Back (via boston.cbs.local.com)

According to CBC's Elliotte Friedman, Boston and Bartkowski have avoided their arbitration hearing and instead agreed to a one -year, $1.25 million deal for the upcoming 2014-15 season. With the deal already factored into the cap number and Marc Savard's LTI to be used, the Bruins have roughly $4.4 million in cap space going forward from today.

Bartkowski earned $650,000 last season playing in 64 games, scoring 0 goals and registering 18 assists and finishing with a plus-22 rating while skating in Boston's second defense paring for much of the season. He was reliable and steady in his own zone and provided a good deal of offensive presence as a pretty mobile D-man, but his play in the postseason dipped tremendously, leading to coach Claude Julien benching him vs Montreal in Round 2. In eight postseason games, he recorded one assist and a plus-2 rating. The doubling in salary to $1.25 million is fair for both Bartkowski and the Bruins.

Boston still has RFA's Torey Krug, Reilly Smith, Justin Florek and Jordan Caron to sign. $4.4 million will not be enough to sign all four (most likely three, sorry Caron) players and still have enough room to bring in another reliable bottom-six forward. A trade, or multiple trades, will need to be made.

Mark Burke 7/14/2014 11:35:00 AM Edit

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