|5v5 P/60||5v5 SAT%||5v5 SAT% Rel||5v5 SCF%||5v5 ZSO%||5v5 PDO||5v5 TOI/Gm|
Victor Bartley started the season as the odd-man out on the blue line. The five incumbent defensemen were not going anywhere, and newcomer Anton Volchenkov was brought in specifically for bottom-three duties. He didn't see the ice until the beginning of November. However, as injuries mounted and Peter Laviolette did all he could to not play Cody Franson, Bartley found himself suiting up more often as the year ended.
He did everything that was asked of him this year. As we've said before, there's nothing fancy about his game and there doesn't need to be. Putting him in the lineup over Volchenkov for the final four playoff games may not have been what many wanted, but it speaks volumes of the value that the coaching staff sees in Bartley.
Bartley is a stay-at-home 7th defenseman, which doesn't lend itself to too many highlight-reel goals or plays. (The Hockey Gods deprived us of a goal when he suited up as a forward this year.) But that's ok, because that's not what we're looking for from him. Instead, we have kittens:
That's the stuff.
From our season preview:
Victor is a honey bee. A diligent worker that goes about his business the best he knows how. The league has hundreds and hundreds of his kind, and they're generally ignored despite being everywhere and performing important functions.
Still sums it up.
The Road Ahead
Bartley is signed through next season before hitting unrestricted free agency. While there could be some potential surprises from defensive prospects in training camp, (or a free agent signing) he should expect to continue being the 7th defenseman, ready to jump in the lineup when needed. He's been doing a pretty good job of that so far.