When the Philadelphia Flyers acquired forward Scott Hartnell from the Nashville Predators in 2007, they had a feeling that they were receiving a very special player. After seeing that on the ice, especially with Hartnell having a career year last season, the Flyers knew that they needed to reward him with an extension before he hit free agency after the upcoming season.
The Flyers were able to lock up Hartnell with a six year contract extension worth a reported $28.5 million. The All-Star forward from a year ago scored a career high 37 goals and was second on the team overall with 67 points. Hartnell said the decision to remain with the Flyers for perhaps the rest of his career was an easy call.
“I haven’t had better times than I’ve had in Philly,” he said. “The fans are awesome and I’m really Flyer-ed up to keep it going.”
Hartnell has played for the Flyers for the past five seasons, and his current contract will expire after this season. The new deal will begin during the 2013-1024 season, and keep Hartnell in Philadelphia through the 2018-2019 NHL season.
With Hartnell, the Flyers know that they are locking up a durable player who excels on the power play. Last season, Hartnell played in all 82 games, and has only missed a total of three games over his five year tenure in Philadelphia. Hartnell was sixth in goals scored last season and second in the league in power play goals. He made his first All-Star team last year, and his career could still be on the rise.
He will, however, have to get used to a new line mate, whenever play resumes.
Hartnell began to really step up his game when he played on a line with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr. While Giroux is still around for the foreseeable future, Jagr signed with the Dallas Stars. Hartnell credits Jagr for teaching him a lot last season. Jakub Voracek is expected to join Hartnell and Giroux on the Flyers’ top line entering next season.
By locking up Hartnell for the next six seasons, the Flyers made sure that everyone is happy as the September 15 date looms that will signal the end of the current collective bargaining agreement as well as a potential NHL Lockout. Hartnell is happy to stay in Philadelphia, the organization is pleased to be able to keep one of their own, and the fans are ecstatic to keep one of the most popular players in recent history.