One day later and people are still wondering what led Flyers general manager Ron Hextall to trade popular forward Scott Hartnell to Columbus for R.J. Umberger.
According to Hextall, it wasn’t anything against Hartnell.
“I wasn’t shopping Scott Hartnell,” Hextall said, per CSN Philly. “When I was circling around with the other managers, I said, ‘We need some cap relief here. If you can think of anything, let me know.’ Columbus ended up coming hard after Scott.
“It didn’t give us a lot of cap relief, ironically. But it was a deal that I thought about for a few days before I went to Scotty’s agent because I realized he had a no-movement clause. It was a sensitive issue.”
Indeed it was. Hartnell admitted he was “pretty shocked at first” to hear that the Flyers wanted him to waive his no-movement clause. However, he eventually “decided that Columbus is an up-and-coming team. They have young, great players. It was the right decision for me to go to a team that was very excited to have me.”
Hextall, meanwhile, wants the Flyers to get faster. And for all the goals Hartnell scored in Philadelphia, the big winger never brought much speed to the table.
Said Hextall of his conversation with Hartnell: “The one question he asked me was, ‘When did I fall out of favor?’ I said, ‘No Hartsy, you haven’t fallen out of favor. This is just something that fits for us and we want to move forward with it.'”