Add yet another free agent to the list as July 1 creeps closer and closer. On Thursday the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they bought out the remaining contract for left winger Scott Hartnell.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) June 29, 2017
Hartnell’s Cannon Silenced
The Blue Jackets will pay the 35-year-old over the next four seasons as part of the agreed buy out – owing him $1.5 million in 2017-18, $3 million in 2018-19, $1.25 million in 2019-20 and $1.25 million in 2020-21.
In fact, the buy out will save the Jackets $3.25 million on the cap next season. As for their overall cap, the team now has three players bought out for next season that total a cap hit of $4.025 million in dead space, according to Cap Friendly.
Hartnell would’ve been heading into his fourth season with the Blue Jackets and his 17th NHL season, but instead he’ll look for another chance somewhere other than Columbus come July 1.
Over three seasons with the Blue Jackets, he scored 64 goals and 146 points in 234 regular season games. He didn’t add anything to the team in their short postseason stint this year, playing four games and recording a minus-two rating.
“On behalf of our organization, I want to thank Scott for his contributions to the Blue Jackets over the past three seasons and wish I’m well in the future,” said general manger Jarmo Kekalainen in a statement released by the team. “Moves like this are never easy, but with our current organizational depth at the position it is something we believe is in the best interest of our club moving forward.”
Hartnell’s Days in the NHL
Hartnell was a first-round pick back in 2000 when the Nashville Predators took the winger with the sixth overall pick behind Rick DiPietro, Dany Heatley, Marian Gaborik, Rostislav Klesla and Raffi Torres.
He played six seasons with the Predators before he joined the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers traded Hartnell to the Blue Jackets on June 23, 2014, in exchange for left wing R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
In 1,187 career regular season NHL games, the Regina, Saskatchewan, native has recorded 314 goals and 683 points to go along with 1,727 penalty minutes and a plus-69 rating. In the playoffs, he’s notched 47 points (19 goals and 28 assists) in 95 postseason games.
A chippy 6-foot-2 forward, Hartnell plays the game with an edge and could fit as a bottom-six forward on a contending team looking for a physical body.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.