By Matt McCoy
Veteran forward Scott Hartnell will now play for the team he wasn't fond of playing against. The 32-year old, 13 year NHL veteran was acquired by the Blue Jackets Monday in a trade with Philadelphia, as former Buckeye R.J. Umberger, who had requested a trade, was shipped out.
"It was always a tough game. You were always getting checked, you were always getting hit," Hartnell said of playing against the Blue Jackets. "To be honest, obviously it's not a big market like the (New York) Rangers or Philly or Pittsburgh and I'm like "Gee...who are these little turds running around?"
Ultimately, Hartnell chose to become one of those "little turds." He signed an extension with Philadelphia two years ago that included a no trade clause but with Philly expressing an interest to move in a different direction, and with the Jackets on the rise, Hartnell decided to waive it...but not before a long talk with Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen.
"He just wanted to know that we were committed to winning," Kekalainen said. "That's his only concern."
Kekalainen belives Hartnell, who has scored 250 career NHL goals, is a 'perfect fit' for the Blue Jackets. In turn, Hartnell hopes he can add to a Blue Jackets team coming off just its second playoff season in franchise history.
"I really have nothing bad to say about Philadelphia...I loved my time there," Hartnell said. "But a team that wants you is a better place than a team that doesn't want you and I'm really excited about that."
To listen to some of Hartnell's post-trade teleconference with reporters click here:
To listen to Jarmo Kekalainen's post-trade comments click here: