Rumor: Scott Hartnell on the trade block

scott hartnell nhl trade rumors

The Blue Jackets are actively shopping veteran Scott Hartnell before the 2016 NHL trade deadline. The left winger would prefer to play for a Stanley Cup contender, and is not fitting in well with the Blue Jackets.

He is producing points with 15 goals and 16 assists in 45 games. However, he has a propensity to take penalties when the game is on the line. Hartnell has been healthy scratched twice under new coach John Tortorella. Tortorella said:

That decision isn’t made lightly. It’s easy to bench a guy because if a guy has a problem, you just bench him. That’s not the way to go about it. You gotta go through the process, and with Scotty, I’ve done that. 
It has been a lack of discipline and a number of different things in the past couple of weeks. We’ve got to get him back. He’s a good player. I like him. But we have to play under a team concept if we’re going to continue to grow as a team.

Hartnell, who leads the Jackets with 81 penalty minutes, had this to say about being scratched:

I don’t know if the leading scorer on a team in any league has been a healthy scratch before. Maybe once. Probably not twice. (But Tortorella) has his ways. I’ve got to be accountable. I came in with a good attitude and had a good workout. My parents are in town, and I’ll have a great day with them and come back and hopefully watch the boys get two points.

Players who get in the Torts doghouse rarely escape and are given a lifetime short leash. GM Jarmo Kekäläinen will try to move him before the trade deadline while he is still productive. Being a poor skater at age 33, the Jackets are expecting a decline in his play.

Hartnell is signed to a $4.75M cap hit and has three years remaining after this season. Contenders will not be able to add his salary unless they trade a significant contract back to the Blue Jackets.

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