Resembling Animal the Muppet, Scott Hartnell is known for his wild hair as much as his spirited playing style.
The combination of the two have made Hartnell a favorite amongst Philadelphia Flyers fans, with the stadium occasionally giving out wigs that resemble Hartnells notorious locks. Beyond the hair, a healthy and successful Hartnell will propel the Flyers to success.
Hartnell had his best season in 2011-12. In 82 games, he led the Flyers in scoring, notching 37 goals. He finished the season with 67 points, his best season to date. Unfortunately, during the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, injuries plagued Hartnell, as well as the rest of the Flyers. In 32 games, Hartnell registered just 11 points, a number that can be partially attributed to his broken foot.
Playing alongside Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek as a left winger, Hartnell has been graced with incredible talent along his line. Voracek enjoyed a breakout year last season tallying 46 points, and Giroux continues to improve his game after a phenomenal 2011-12 season. Both young stars are rising offensive threats.
The 31-year-old Hartnell serves as the veteran presence on his line. A completely healthy Hartnell is necessary to facilitate the abilities of Giroux and Voracek. The two are highly talented scorers, with strong, accurate shots. If Hartnell can bounce back to his 2011-12 playing style, the Flyers’ number one line will be feared once again.
Hartnell’s gritty playing style and vibrant personality have made him a fan favorite in Philadelphia. His scoring and offensive abilities shouldn’t be overlooked. If Hartnell can stay healthy and return to his former self, fans should be welcoming the return of his incredibly beard-growing abilities during the 2013-14 playoffs.