Just a few days ago, Matt Bartkowski couldn’t help but think to himself how overjoyed he was that the Jarome Iginla trade between the Calgary Flames and Bruins completely flamed out on that fateful April day.

That’s because the 24-year-old defenseman has jumped into the Stanley Cup playoff spotlight with his fellow Baby Bear blueliners, and lit up in the second round against the Rangers. Meanwhile, the Flames players are polishing their golf clubs in courses all across North America while muttering something along the lines of “wait until next year.”

The trade-that-wasn’t would have sent Bartkowski, Russian prospect Alex Khokhlachev and a first round pick to the Flames in exchange for Iginla. But instead the former Flames captain famously nixed the deal to go to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Bruins instead landed future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr.

When Bartkowski first thought the trade was going to happen, the young blueliner truthfully considered that it might be a better opportunity for him in Calgary. What better place for a young defenseman looking for a chance to establish himself than on a young, rebuilding hockey club?

Calgary assistant GM John Weisbrod was working in the Bruins front office when Boston requested Bartkowski from Florida as part of the Dennis Seidenberg deal three years ago, and had scouted the blueliner during his time at Ohio State. So Weisbrod and the Flames were actively pushing to have the young blueliner included as a key part of the Calgary prospect package.

“Being in that situation and seeing where the Calgary system was and all of the great ‘D’ they have here in Boston, and then [the Flames] traded [Jay] Bouwmeester away at the deadline…I was kind of thinking that might have been a good fit,” said Bartkowski, of his mindset when he first thought he was a goner headed to the Flames. “But you want to be on a winning team, so I was glad that I stayed here. Now all of this has happened.