Says The Hockey Writers:
Watching Scott Hartnell depart Philly in the 2014 offseason was a tough pill to swallow. However, the circumstances of his trade made his leaving that much worse.
One of the first deals of Ron Hextall’s tenure as general manager was arguably his worst. Sending Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick in 2015 didn’t make sense at the time and it still doesn’t make much sense today.
Umberger only played 106 games after the deal, racking up a whopping 26 points. Hartnell, on the other hand, played another four full seasons (296 games) between Columbus and eventually the Nashville Predators. His 170 points scored in his final four NHL seasons not only served as a great sendoff for a fantastic career but made this trade look that much worse.
Although the deal was made, in part, to dump Hartnell’s massive near $5 million cap hit, the Flyers could have received much more in return. Losing a beloved player was hard enough for Flyers fans, but watching him thrive in Columbus and Nashville while Umberger struggled in Philly was the hardest to bear.