‘It was mutually beneficial for us to part ways’: Hartnell not bitter about exit from Columbus

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The marriage between Scott Hartnell and the Columbus Blue Jackets lasted exactly three seasons.

On Thursday, the Jackets decided it was time to buy out the final two years of his contract.

Instead of feeling bitter about the way things ended in Columbus, the 35-year-old couldn’t have been more understanding.

“I think it was mutually beneficial for us to part ways,” Hartnell said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “They’re going in a different way, they’re going younger, and they have some young studs coming up. They wanted to go that direction.

“I can’t say a bad thing about Columbus. It’s probably a city I’ll come back to after hockey. It’s such good living. People are great. I made some really good friends outside of hockey, too.”

Columbus hasn’t been shy about buying out contracts. They’ll have three separate buyouts on the books next season. Fedor Tyutin, Jared Boll and Hartnell will count for just over $4 million in dead money on the cap in 2017-18.

The Blue Jackets now have over $12.8 million in salary cap space, which should allow GM Jarmo Kekalainen to finalize contracts with key restricted free agents Josh Anderson and Alexander Wennberg.