Scott Hartnell made a big impact during his seven seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers (sometimes it felt like he left a literal indention in the ice, considering his #HartnellDown campaign). Considering his interview with NJ Advance Media, it seems like the current Columbus Blue Jackets forward has some mixed feelings heading into his return to Philly on Friday.
“I’m a pretty emotional person I think,” Hartnell said. “Just to be in that arena and not going to the home dressing room and seeing the trainers and coaches and everyone that I love, it’s for sure going to be tough. Obviously, I had this game circled on my calendar for awhile. Get it over with and enjoy it.”
It sounds like he might especially enjoy the opportunity to torment Flyers head coach Craig Berube, who Hartnell believes “had a big part of that or a big opinion in whether to part ways or not.”
(Berube laughed off such a claim.)
While the Blue Jackets are obviously hurting in the standings, Hartnell’s production is high on the short list of things that are going right for Columbus.
He has nearly a point per game (14 in 15) and is making his presence felt with an impressive 55 shots on goal.
If you feel the need to contrast his work with that of R.J. Umberger – the guy he was traded for, though many will note that the Flyers had cap considerations in mind, too – it’s really no contest. Umberberger, also 32, only has three points this season and is currently on a seven-game pointless streak.
Still, Hartnell’s former team is scraping by in the standings (Philly’s 7-5-2 for 16 points) while Columbus is languishing with a 4-10-1 record thanks to a harrowing nine-game skid, so Hartnell would likely treasure a win against the Flyers more than individual accomplishments.
Of course, Hartnell wouldn’t be down on gaining both.