It’s the lazy days of summer, the same can be said for the goings on in the NHL. After the free agent frenzy of early July calms down, hockey fans are left to discuss and wonder how their teams will look in October.
The Philadelphia Flyers have been one of the more active teams this off season, making the initial “big splash” by trading away captain Mike Richards and leading goal scorer Jeff Carter. They followed that shocking move with another, the signing of Jaromir Jagr when free agency opened on July 1st. Yes, the Flyers roster has already been given an extreme makeover, and they may not be done yet.
Whispers around the internet have named Scott Hartnell as the next Flyer to be traded away. As of right now all of these “rumors” are completely unfounded. However, the word has spread so far that I felt the need to address them.
Would the Flyers like to part with Scott Hartnell and his $4.2 million dollar cap hit? Sure they would.
The main questions that need to be answered are who would want Hartnell and can the Flyers afford to part with him?
There are teams out there that could use Hartnell, after all he is a capable 20 goal-a-year scorer, whether you want to admit it or not. Also, there are currently 5 teams still below the NHL cap floor, and they could be looking to spend a little money, and get some value without a long-term commitment.
Now, here comes the bad news if you aren’t a fan of Scott Hartnell. Bottom line, the Flyers simply can’t afford to trade him unless they replace him. The Flyers have already parted with a lot of scoring; parting with another guy capable of scoring 20 goals a year doesn’t make much sense. Trading Hartnell made a lot more sense before the Flyers sent Mike Richards and Jeff Carter out of town. Also, Hartnell has a no trade clause in his contract, and he’d have to waive it to be traded. Currently, the five teams below the cap floor are the New York Islanders, Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg Jets (So much fun to type), and Hartnell’s former club the Nashville Predators.
I’m not saying it’s impossible for Hartnell to be traded, especially in the brand new cap world the NHL has created. However, it’s hard to believe the Flyers would trade away Hartnell without replacing his scoring. And before you ask, trading away Hartnell wouldn’t have anything to do with a deal for Steven Stamkos.
Sorry to be a buzz-kill.