(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

By: Steve McClure | Follow me on Twitter / X @stmcclure1993

Happy birthday to former Bruin Matt Bartkowski. The well-traveled defenseman turns 36 years old today.

The Pittsburgh native arrived on the Bruins’ scene in March of 2010 when his rights were traded from the Florida Panthers—which selected him in the 7th round of the 2008 NHL draft—along with fellow defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. He spent portions of five seasons with the Bruins from 2010 through 2015.

Bartkowski did not score any regular season goals while with Boston—in 131 games, he was 0-24-24—but he did score a playoff goal in the 2012-13 Game Seven versus Toronto. Bartkowski sent the Garden crowd into a frenzy when he scored the first goal of the game. Toronto would score four unanswered goals, however, until Boston mounted its epic comeback, rallying to a thrilling 5-4 overtime victory.   

The 6-1 Bruins’ defender would test free agency in the summer of 2015 and accept a more full-time role with the Vancouver Canucks. He played 80 games that season and produced a solid 6-12-18. He played a few limited seasons with Calgary and Minnesota, and then spent minor league stints with the Pittsburgh and Buffalo organizations, before retiring from hockey in 2023.

Bartkowski scored 8 goals and registered 48 points in the course of his 256-regular-season-game career. He now serves as an in-studio analyst for the Penguins’ SportsNet broadcast crew. Happy birthday, Matt!