The Nashville Predators will bring back a very familiar face, inking Scott Hartnell to a one-year deal worth just $1MM. This comes just after the Columbus Blue Jackets bought out the final two years of his contract, making him a free agent. Hartnell of course was drafted by the Predators sixth overall in 2000, and played the first six years of his pro career there.
Hartnell then moved on to Philadelphia and stayed there for another seven years before ending up in Columbus for the past three campaigns. He has had a steady career until he struggled this past year. His 13 goals and 24 assists are his lowest numbers (not including 2012-13) since the 2002-03 season when he was with Nashville. To make matters worse, Hartnell scored no points in four playoff games this year. One reason for his declining production was the fact that Columbus began giving more playing time to their younger players, cutting his own.
Now the 35-year-old wing will rejoin Predators’ head coach Peter Laviolette, who he worked with in Philadelphia from 2009-2013. Hartnell has never won a Stanley Cup championship, but went to the Stanley Cup finals once, back in 2010 with Laviolette as his coach. Hartnell will try to rebound from an underwhelming season, despite scoring 51 goals combined in the previous two years with Columbus.