What Can We Expect From Scott Hartnell?

Apr 9, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell (19) controls the puck against the New York Islanders during the second period of an NHL game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

37 goals in the 2011-2012 season but only eight the year after, what will we see from Scott Hartnell this upcoming campaign?

Hartnell revitalized his career during that 2011-2012 campaign as he went from being a grinder who can score goals, to a goal scorer with an element of grit to his game. A huge part of Hartnell’s success that season was due to Claude Giroux as Giroux established himself as one of the best in the game.

Giroux emerged that season as one of the deadliest playmakers in the NHL as he recorded 65 assists and 93 points. He was the perfect set up man for Hartnell and the two developed some successful chemistry that evolved throughout the course of the season. Jaromir Jagr also played on the line and complimented the two perfectly. Jagr is gone now and Hartnell’s first year without him didn’t go as planned

Hartnell’s talents were highlighted in a 2012 game during that season against the Boston Bruins when the 30-year old potted a hat trick during a single period. Claude Giroux assisted on all three goals and two of them came on the power-play where Hartnell was averaging 3:43 of power-play time a game.

His time on the man advantage dropped to 2:57 last season as other young players were given an opportunity. This may be a continuing issue for Hartnell as Jakub Voracek’s breakout season might mean Hartnell is no longer a part of the team’s top power-play unit.

Voracek, Giroux,Kimmo Timonen, and newcomer Mark Streit are guaranteed to be on the top unit so that leaves one spot open. It is likely to go to the other newcomer Vincent Lecavalier or possibly Wayne Simmonds so Hartnell will have to settle for the second unit. He will still produce but not nearly as much as he did during the 2011-2012 campaign.

What do we make of his season last year? We should probably just dismiss it but that’s hard to do with his $4,750,000 cap hit. It was a disappointing year for many players on the Flyers though so it’s not time to just rip on Hartnell.

His overall ice time last season dipped from the previous year down to only 15:52 per game last season, a two minute difference. That is actually quite a drastic change but Hartnell should see a slight raise next season, especially if he can keep that spot on the first line alongside Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.

It’s probably fair to say that Scott Hartnell will never score 37 goals in his career again. It’s also probably fair to say that he will never score has low as eight goals in his career. Hartnell should return to his medium which is likely around 25 goals and 50 points.

Philly got a lot better during the off-season and Hartnell is just one of many players who will find a way to rebound.

Topics: Claude Giroux, Ice Time, Jakub Voracek, Jaromir Jagr, Kimmo Timonen, Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers, Power-play, Rebound Year, Scott Hartnell, Vincent LeCavalier

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