Around trade deadline time, there was serious speculation that the Columbus Blue Jackets would trade Scott Hartnell.
That didn’t happen, yet there’s a chance he might get moved during this off-season.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Hartnell waived his no-trade clause and would accept a move to a “decent” number of teams:
3. There were some Scott Hartnell rumblings around the trade deadline, but nothing came to fruition. The ask was high. There is something going on now, though. According to sources, Hartnell, who has a no-move clause, has agreed to waive it for several teams. Kekalainen and agent Matt Oates would not comment, but word is it’s a decent-sized list.
Hartnell is 34, and I think potential trade partners are a little concerned about that third year remaining on his contract. If it was one or two, I’m not sure there’d be much worry. But, it’s clear he’s willing to move on, which will have him motivated to make an impact.
The Columbus Dispatch’s Rob DeWolf did not get a response from the Blues Jackets or Hartnell regarding those rumors, but it seems like a move would make sense for both sides.
Columbus would get to shed some salary (Hartnell’s cap hit is $4.75 million through 2018-19) and gain some space for a younger forward.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Hartnell wanted out, either.
The frequently falling forward found himself injured and a healthy scratch more often than he’d like with the Blue Jackets. He’s absorbed a lot of NHL mileage (including 1,109 regular season games), so Hartnell may qualify as “an old 34.” You never know when a team might turn things around, but in Hartnell’s mind, he may believe that he’d have a better chance to win elsewhere.
Of course, finding a trade partner could be a challenge, especially if the “ask” is still high. Perhaps a team on that “decent-sized list” would want Columbus to retain some of Hartnell’s salary?
Long story short, it could be a pretty interesting scenario to watch.