Giroux on Hartnell trade: ‘I personally didn’t see it coming’

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It was the first big trade in the days before the NHL Draft, and it caught Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux by complete surprise.

The Flyers dealt left winger Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for R.J. Umberger and a 2015 fourth-round pick on Monday.

“I personally didn’t see it coming,” Giroux told Nicholas Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports. “I heard a lot of rumors and stuff, but I just didn’t believe it. I mean, [Hartnell is] a good guy. He’s one of the best teammates I ever had. It’s a sad day.

“He was almost the face of the Flyers. He was a fan favorite. Everywhere he went, he loved the city. I’m sure it’s a tough day for him to kind of put that behind him, but Columbus is going to be a good opportunity for him.”

While Giroux was a little stunned, Hartnell expressed some anger with news of the deal, having known for some time that something was in the works.

“He decided it was best for me to move on from the Flyers,” said Hartnell. “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.”