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.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.