“It’s just a little different not having that voice in the room you had the last three years. Hartsy was kind of the Mayor around here. You had a problem, you go to him. He’d get it sorted out.”
That was Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, talking to CSN Philly about former teammate Scott Hartnell, who returns to Wells Fargo Center tonight as a member of the Blue Jackets.
Hartnell, 32, was traded to Columbus in June, in return for 32-year-old R.J. Umberger. The former, a fan favorite when he was in Philadelphia, has five goals and nine assists this season, while the latter has just one goal and two assists. But the former is also signed through 2018-19, while the latter’s contract only runs through 2016-17. A factor in the deal, according to GM Ron Hextall.
“Yeah, I get it,” Hartnell says now, in retrospect. “I’ve been around the league a long time. I understand that totally and it just hurt my ego … I thought I’d play the rest of my career [in Philadelphia] and the change in a week was hard to take. But I’m excited for this time here in Columbus, this new chapter in my life.”
Hartnell has suggested that Flyers coach Craig Berube “had a big part” in the trade; however, Berube maintains he had “no input” and has nothing against Hartnell personally.
“I mean, he’s a good guy,” Berube said. “He did a lot for the team and the organization. We all like him from outside of the hockey rink to on the ice.
“He’s a good player and good in the room. But people move on and that’s the way it is. I have nothing against Hartsy and he’s a friend of mine.”