P-Bruins: Still plenty to learn, develop for Kampfer & Bartkowski

The deal that sent Matt Hunwick to Colorado without an NHL-ready replacement coming back had everyone, including Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, talking about how to replace the veteran defenseman’s speed and puck-carrying skills. Bartkowski and Kampfer were two names that often camp up in conversation.

It would seem that like most young defensemen, they’re learning on the job and experiencing as many ups as downs along the way. Those are the types of growing pains you expect and can live with in the AHL. At the NHL level, with a team that’s trying to not just make the playoffs but make a lengthy playoff run, you try to avoid becoming a work-study program.

Judging by this weekend’s play, and the comments you hear from and about Kampfer and Bartkowski, the Bruins will probably be better off allowing both players to continue to grow in the AHL. If injuries arise with the parent club, Boston could look outside the organization for help or lean on a couple AHL veterans in Jeff Penner and Andrew Bodnarchuk – who both have had NHL cups of coffee — to fill in.

The race to the NHL between Kampfer and Bartkowski is on, but still very much in its early stages

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