The sudden news of the Philadelphia Flyers dealing Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for R.J. Umberger and a 2015 fourth-round pick was something that, according to Hartnell, had been building for a few days.
Ultimately Hartnell said on a conference call that he waived his no-trade clause to go to Columbus because the Flyers and GM Ron Hextall said they were ready to move on from him. Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com shares the story.
“He decided it was best for me to move on from the Flyers,” Hartnell said. “To be honest, I was pretty shocked at first. I was upset and a little angry. I took a few days to look at the situation. It was hard.
“It was not easy. A lot of emotions. At the end of the day, I 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.”
In Columbus, Hartnell will join budding superstar Ryan Johansen and forwards like Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Boone Jenner among others in making what could wind up being a formidable team.
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said Hartnell’s only question on going to Columbus was whether they were committed to winning as Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch shared.
“He said, ‘I want to win. I’m 32 years old. I’ve made a lot of money. I want to win.’ That’s basically the question I wanted to hear, the answer I wanted to get, that that’s why he’s coming here and that’s what he wants to do.”
The Jackets and Flyers being divisional rivals should help keep things lively. As it was, the Flyers finished one point ahead of the Jackets last season. They’ll face each other five times in 2014-15.