Early this summer, the Blue Jackets asked veteran forward Scott Hartnell to waive the no-movement clause in his contract. He agreed and supplied general manager Jarmo Kekalainen with a “decent-sized list,” according to Sportsnet.
But after two months of waiting and wondering, Hartnell called Kekalainen back and told him he was retracting his list and standing firm on his no-move clause.
“I put it to rest with Jarmo,” Hartnell said. “I said I’m coming back and I’m not having this over my head during training camp and the first month of the season. I have a no-move for a reason, and it’s there for me now.
Hartnell admitted the situation was “driving me crazy,” adding that he really loves Columbus and his teammates.
But even with that said, the 34-year-old’s still in a bit of a sticky situation.
His six-year, $28.5 million contract has three years remaining and, at $4.75 million per season, he’s pretty expensive for the Blue Jackets moving forward, especially with the likes of Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foligno in similar boats — both are pricey, locked in long-term and armed with no-movement clauses.
That said, Hartnell does have value.
He scored 23 goals and 49 points last year, leading the club with 10 power play markers while averaging around 15-and-a-half minutes per game. He’s also provided some good veteran leadership with his gritty, in-your-face style of play.
For the record, the Jackets and Kekalainen have never publicly stated why they wanted to trade Hartnell. It could be for salary cap reasons, though the club would get some relief in the form of injured forward David Clarkson, whose $5.25M hit could be put on LTIR.