While the Nashville Predators told Scott Hartnell nearly three weeks ago that they will not bring him back, that didn’t mean the 17-year veteran’s career is over. While he admitted at the time that he would be OK if his career ended, TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports that Hartnell has indicated that he’s all in and plans to play an 18th season in the NHL next year. The unrestricted free agent just needs to find a new team now.
The veteran forward signed a one-year, $1MM deal to return to Nashville last season after being bought out by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hartnell had a solid campaign acting as a bottom-six forward for the team who can incite energy and hustle in his play. No longer a constant 20-goal scorer, he posted 13 goals for a second year in a row to go with 24 points in 62 games this season.
Due to Nashville’s depth at forward and the youth they are bringing in, Hartnell was no longer a logical option there, but there should be other teams on the lookout for a veteran bottom-six forward. Even though he only played in four games for the Predators in the playoffs, he showed his value against the Winnipeg Jets. In three games, he produced eight hits and was instrumental in helping the Predators to a Game 4 victory. Regardless, he shouldn’t have too much trouble finding another year of work.