Ottawa signs Bartkowski to PTO

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Earlier this week, we passed along a report that Ottawa had “kicked tires” on veteran d-men Kris Russell and Dennis Seidenberg, with GM Pierre Dorion adding the club might bring in a blueliner on a PTO.

On Friday, Dorion pulled the trigger.

The Sens announced that Matt Bartkowski would attend training camp on a tryout basis. Bartkowski, 28, spent last year in Vancouver and was a lineup regular, appearing in 80 games while recording 16 points.

A good skater, Bartkowski’s downfall has been his defensive awareness — the lack of it, primarily. It landed him in Claude Julien’s doghouse in Boston and played a big part in Vancouver cutting ties after just one year.

In Ottawa, Bartkowski should push for a bottom-pairing or seventh defenseman spot. Prized prospect Thomas Chabot got torched after an unimpressive development camp, so this could be a move to push him.

The Sens aren’t exactly loaded on defense, either. Their projected bottom two, Chris Wideman and Fredrik Claesson, are pretty green — Wideman, a quality producer at the AHL level, is just 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds with only 64 games of NHL experience.

Claesson, 23, has even less experience, having only appeared in 16 career contests.