COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have bought out the final two years of left wing Scott Hartnell's contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Hartnell immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent.
"On behalf of our organization, I want to thank Scott for his contributions to the Blue Jackets over the past three seasons and wish him well in the future," said Kekalainen. "Moves like this are never easy, but with our current organizational depth at the position it is something we believe is in the best interest of our club moving forward."
Hartnell, 35, was acquired by the Blue Jackets from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for left wing R.J. Umberger and a fourth round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on June 23, 2014. He collected 64 goals and 82 assists for 146 points and 275 penalty minutes in 234 games with the club, including a CBJ-best 28-32-60 and 100 PIM in 77 outings in 2014-15. Last season, he tallied 13-24-37 and 63 PIM in 78 games.
The Regina, Saskatchewan native has registered 314-369-683 with 1,727 PIM and a +69 plus/minus rating in 1,187 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Flyers and Nashville Predators. He was Nashville's first pick, sixth overall, in the 2000 NHL Draft.