The Philadelphia Flyers continue to make noise ahead of the NHL draft. The organisation sent long time Flyer Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for R.J. Umberger and a fourth round draft pick on Monday.
Hartnell has spent the last seven years with the Flyers and has accumulated 157 goals and 169 assists during that time. Hartnell had five years left in his contract. I’m stunned by this move by Flyers GM Ron Hextall.
This is quite the gamble for him to take. Hartnell is a fan favorite, a seasoned veteran and one of the league’s best agitators. He is the last person I thought the organisation would deal to another team.
But what’s done is done, and now Hartnell has a chance to help the Columbus Blue Jackets succeed. His experience will go a long way towards helping guys like Artem Anisimov and Ryan Johansen improve their game. I believe the Columbus Blue Jackets were the clear winners in this deal. I’m sure they’ll make the playoffs next season.
And with Scotty Hartnell in the lineup, there’s no telling how far this team will go.
Now, I don’t mean to belittle R.J. Umberger in any way. He has plenty to bring to the table for the Flyers. The 32 year old forward accumulated 18 goals and 16 assists for the Jackets. He’ll bring speed, size and some pretty decent faceoff skills to the Flyers.
He’s got a wicked shot and has proven to be quite the setup man whenever he’s played. He also gives the Flyers some much needed cap room as well. Especially since the organisation has just finished signing centermen Brayden Schenn to a long term contract.
Schenn has just signed a two year $5m contract with the Flyers. But I still believe that most Flyers fans will be angry and stunned by this trade. Hartnell knew how to shake things up and shift momentum when the pressure was on.
He’s been the face of the team for many years. It’s going to be a while before I get used to seeing Scotty Hartnell in blue and red instead of orange and white. I can’t wait to see what kind of impact this has on Vincent Lecavalier’s chances of staying with the team.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Ron Hextall moves him before the draft as well. One thing is clear, Hextall sure isn’t afraid of shaking things up in his new position. I wonder what he’s planning next. It will be interesting to see which one of these guys settles in with their new team quicker.