Word this morning that the Philadelphia Flyers may be shopping Scott Hartnell. Should the Oilers be interested?
Scott Hartnell still is a good player. The 32-year-old power forward spent most of the season riding on Philadelphia’s top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.
For the most part, the line controlled the puck and created scoring
chances while playing against high-end competition. Hartnell scored 20
goals and 32 assists in 78 games. The Flyers are not concerned with his
projected production. The problem is Hartnell is signed through 2019 at
$4.75 million annually, according to www.capgeek.com.
By then, he will be 37. It is not a kind age for power forwards.
Hartnell’s high-water mark was in 2012-13, when he scored 37 goals and
30 assists along with 136 penalty minutes in 82 games. It was a contract
year, and Hartnell landed his current six-year, $28.5 million deal. The
following year, Hartnell scored just eight goals in 32 games. He
rebounded this season. But he finished the playoffs off the first line,
replaced by Michael Raffl. Hartnell’s legs and production are showing signs of future wear.
This could be a story with legs as it pertains to the Oilers, who would certainly count “gritty skill winger” among their needs this summer. I expect it’s behind ‘two-way center’ and ‘stud defenseman’ but it’s worth following as things roll along.
OILERS-FLYERS DRAFT DAY
Last year we saw Craig MacTavish and Paul Holmgren talking a lot on the draft floor. We heard names like Braydon Coburn and Wayne Simmonds, and people did notice the conversations.
Philadelphia is an interesting team for Edmonton. There’s a ‘one stop shopping’ attractiveness to their roster, in that Coburn, Couturier and Simmonds (or maybe Hartnell) added to the Oiler group addresses the major problems.
What’s going the other way? Well, we’ve heard names, and of course that third overall selection might be attractive to the Flyers since the Entry Draft is in Philly this season.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This could be nothing, hell the Flyers might want #1 overall and shoot the moon with Florida. Having said that, Edmonton’s willingness to take on contracts that have lengthy term and to deal their lottery pick mean they’re at least in the conversation.
Would you be pleased with more actual NHL players and a lower first round pick? It could happen, the tumblers MAY be clicking in that direction.