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Scott Hartnell Press Conference

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
(Voorhees, NJ, July 10) - Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was introduced to the local media on Tuesday at noon at the Virtua Health Flyers Skate Zone. Click below to view the press conference in its entirety.

Scott Hartnell Press Conference (video): 700K
(audio): 56K

Related content: Hartnell Makes First Visit to Philadelphia

Note: Comcast SportsNet will carry live the press conference with Daniel Briere on Thursday at noon.

In attendance: President/COO of Comcast-Spectacor Peter Luukko, Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren, Flyers Head Coach John Stevens and Left Wing Scott Hartnell

Paul Holmgren: “First of all, I would like to welcome everybody here.  Thanks for coming out on this nice cold day in July.  There is no better way to spend a hot day than in a hockey rink.  We have been cool the last few days.  I’d like to personally welcome Scott (Hartnell) to the Flyers organization.  Doing what we did with Nashville, I think it afforded us to jump on a guy who would have been a very attractive player in the free agent market.  I think it saved us a little bit of time and effort that we would have had to put out on Sunday (July 1) in doing what we did.  We are extremely excited to have Scott on board and be a part of our organization.  We look for big things from him.  Obviously, he is a big, rugged kid and we think that he is just scratching the surface of his potential as a 25-year-old player.  We think that there is a lot more there and we are going to have the opportunity to see it come out as a Philadelphia Flyer.  He is the type of player that Flyers’ fans have grown to love, the hard-nosed, hard-working guy that plays the game properly.  We are excited about having Scott and with that I will turn things over to Scott.”

Scott Hartnell speaks with the media with General Manager Paul Holmgren looking on. (Flyers Photos)
Scott Hartnell
: “Thank you Mr. Holmgren.  It’s a good day to be a Flyer here.  Just coming in yesterday (Monday, July 9), everyone has been so nice and so graceful.  Looking around the city. It’s a beautiful city, a little hot right now like Paul said, a good day to be in a hockey rink.  I am excited to be a Flyer.  There is so much history for this organization.  The (Stanley) Cups in the 1970s, to get this team back in the winning ways like it has been. It’s an old times hockey franchise.  It’s been a great fit for myself and the deal with Kimmo Timonen doesn’t hurt.  The players that they have gotten in the last couple of days, Danny Briere, Joffrey Lupul, Jason Smith, those guys are top-notch NHL players that are going to make this organization do a quick 180.  I am just excited to be here and just the smiles on everyone’s faces here, the trainers, coaches, GM, everyone, it has been an awesome day and a half so far and I am excited to be here.”

Q: On the board you have been penciled in on a line with Jeff Carter and Lupul.  Tell me what you know about those two?

Hartnell:  “Is that who I am playing with coach? (laughs)  I am sure Mr. Holmgren’s office is just throwing around lines, different possibilities, this and that, but you look right now from first line to fourth line and there is not much difference between the players.  Danny Briere with (Simon) Gagne and (Mike) Knuble, those are three top-notch players that are going to get 80 to 100 points a year.  Jeff Carter - I played with him in the World Championships a couple of years ago.  He’s a big kid, he is working really hard in the gym today.  Joffrey Lupul - I met him a couple of times in the last couple of summers, a great guy, he can put the puck in the net, a feisty guy.  Whoever is going to play with them, they are going to be happy and this is going to be a top-notch team I feel this year without a doubt.  I am so excited.“ 

Q:  What would you say among the guys that were just signed and the players here would be the common theme of some of the most important things that can be achieved
going into this season?

:  “The good names I just said, you look around they are all young guys.  They are not the 36-, 37-year-old guys that some guys bring in.  We are all 24 or 25 to 30 and right in the prime of our careers.  Everyone kind of brings a different element to the game.  Myself, I am a hard-nosed, gritty player that tries to never take a shift off.  I go out and give 110 percent, if you are up five goals or you are down five goals, you never want to give up.  Joffrey Lupul, a real skilled guy, Kimmo Timonen, can lead the blue line, Jason Smith, another great veteran guy, captain of the Edmonton Oilers, you look right through the four, five, six guys that we brought in here, they are all leaders.  We are all great guys, I know pretty much everyone.  It’s going to be a good young group of guys that are excited to play.”

Q:  What is going to be the cement of this team?

:  “I think that it is everyone’s job to chip in.  It’s starts at Mr. Holmgren to the coaches, getting everyone on board.  Having the right system for us.  The main thing I think starts when you are five years old and you start playing and you want to have fun.  I know last year probably for the Flyers it wasn’t a lot of fun playing, not having a great record.  Coming from Nashville, we had 100+ points right at the top of the league the whole year and it was fun until the playoffs, until you start to lose.  No one in this league wants to lose.  The acquisitions that the Flyers organization has brought in here, they are not ready to lose this year again.  Everyone should be excited in the city, everyone should be excited around the whole league.  This is a team to be reckoned with and we are just super excited.”

Q:  How much of an easier transition is this for you coming over with Kimmo who you know obviously and Scottie Upshall who was brought in with the (Peter) Forsberg trade? I think you are also pretty good friends with Joffrey as well.

:  “Yeah and Ryan Parent, another ex-Nashville Predator as well. All those guys make it really easy to come to a team.  My wife (Lisa) and I coming in here this is the first time we have been on another team and you are not sure of the coaches or the guys or anything like that, but I know a majority of the guys and just even talking with everyone here, it’s just a laid back atmosphere.  You can tell deep down that when it comes time for business that it’s time to play hockey and play it well. We are super excited to be here with the great guys and get things going.”

Q:  Did you anticipate coming to Philadelphia?

:  “Not really.  When Peter Forsberg came to Nashville, we got to be really good friends right off the bat.  I broke my foot and he was out with a abdominal injury or something, we got to talking about Philadelphia and how he liked it.  He couldn’t say enough great things about the city, the organization and everything.  He ran into a tough year (last year), but the year before they had 100+ points.  He could not say enough good things about it.  As for coming here, you kind of rank the teams in your head with your agent, teams that would be interested, things like that and Philadelphia, when it came down to it in negotiating it was a no-brainer basically.  They committed on getting Kimmo Timonen in the same deal, going out getting a big free agent and change this team around.  The biggest thing that I expressed to my agent was that I want to go to a winning team, I want to go to a contender and with everything they have done, they have shown that.  It was a no-brainer.”

Q:  Did you have any reservations because of the team’s performance last season?

:  “No, not at all.  Teams go through good and bad years.  I could say it was a terrible year, but I am sure they made every step to get in the right direction and put a great team on the board and on the ice every night so I am excited to be a part of that.”

Q:  If you were playing fantasy hockey, where would you fit in with the lineup?

:  “It comes down to (training) camp and what guys gel together.  Hopefully, I break the top two lines.  I am putting a lot of pressure on myself this year.  It’s a big year for myself.  Every summer you work out, try to be the best player you.  Coming in here and having a six-year deal, I am going to have the same expectations of myself to be in the gym, be committed, be on the ice early, start skating, things like that, it’s going to be no different.  I am going to try and come in and have a great start and hopefully the ball will keep rolling.”

Q:  You started playing when you 18 years old, after seven years under your belt, what do you know now that you did not know back then?

:  “I didn’t know how to pay my bills or anything like that (laughs).  I didn’t know what a mortgage was (laughs).  You sure change in seven years.  I will be married for one year on Saturday (July 14).  Everything changes.  Coming in as an 18-year-old, you don’t know much about Los Angeles or New York or all these big cities and now two of the five teams that are in this Division (Atlantic) are from New York.  I’ll be seeing a lot of these big cities.  It was a great time I had in Nashville, I don’t regret going there, don’t have anything bad to say about Nashville, but I am also looking forward to my time here in Philadelphia and being a Flyer.”

Q:  Does the fact that you signed for six years place more responsibility on you?

:  “For sure.  It will add some pressure too, no doubt, especially on myself. If things don’t go well, you start gripping the stick, stuff like that, but you are going to try and play better.  As for just being ready to play every night, that is one of the biggest things that I kind of pride myself on.  It’s a long season, it’s 82 games and you can’t be your best every night, but you have to try to find a way to be the best player that you can.  To come in and start off doing things that I know how to do, how I grew up playing:  hitting, getting to the corners first, coming out with the puck, going to the net, being in front of the net, getting sticks on pucks coming from the point, things like that, doing a good job on the power play, all that kind of stuff.  I’ll work on all this stuff in the summer time, coming into camp and it’s going to be no different at all.”

Q:  Do you think when fans see your contract numbers that they will hold you to a certain scoring standard?

:  “I think with every player, you look around the league.  Look at Jaromir Jagr, if he gets 70 to 80 points, it’s a down year for him because he makes a lot of money.  It is a lot of money and I am going to try to put points on the board.  I pride myself on being great defensively, I am not just an offensive player, I am a two-way player.  I do the little things too.  I don’t think you can put a price tag on little intangibles, out there on the ice every day, coming to practice focused, ready to work hard, improving your game every day that you are on the ice.  It’s not just games, it’s all those little things too.

Q:  In terms of your game, where do you balance being aggressive and not taking it to the point where you can hurt the team? 

:  “That comes with experience too.  I remember my first couple years. I would have eight to 10 fights a year and I was playing on the third or fourth line and trying to go get a bunch of hits and get the guys going on the bench and let the other guys score.  The last few years especially I have been put on more of an offensive roll and you forget about hitting and the stuff that got you there, but you have to be smarter.  I’ve had some head injuries too that played a part of that too.  You just have to kind of learn how to incorporate all the aspects of your game and just do it a lot smarter and obviously not taking simple or stupid penalties.  Last year was a big year for me getting over that.  I know Mr. (John) Stevens would not like that if I was in the penalty box the whole time or doing stupid stuff either (laughs).  You have to live and learn and I think I have learned that lesson hard.”

Q:  With all the new players, is there more of a stress getting the team together quickly and putting more pressure on guys like Scott?

John Stevens
: “Based on the year we had last year, I look at it as a very good thing.  I keep hearing this word pressure and I say the only pressure right now on our team is to come in and work extremely hard.  We brought Scott in here because of the player he is.  He is a self-motivating guy, he is an extremely hard worker and when he plays that way, his talent comes out and he produces.  The pressure we are putting on Scott and everyone else is to come in here and be the hardest working team in the league…period.  This skill will come out.  Daniel Briere is a very competitive guy, Gags (Gagne) is a competitive guy.  You look up and down our line up and Homer (Holmgren) has assembled a group of players here that are internally motivated and extremely competitive and their skills will come out when the work is put in and that is all we expect from Scott.”

Q:  With so many new guys do you feel you need to take a bigger role right away rather than just sit back and see how you fit in?

:  “Yeah, I think so.  I think all the guys that come in want to step in and play their part and do what they do well.  Danny Briere is not going to go around hitting everyone, he is going to put the puck in the net and that is what he has been known to do.  Kimmo Timonen is going to make that first pass on the tape and get the puck through on the power play and do everything that he does best.  And myself, I am going to go hard to the net.  That is where I score the majority of my goals, right around the net, banging in rebounds, getting the stick on the puck, a nice shot or whatever.  You have to do everything you do well and do it effectively.  There is going to be a lot of pressure on all of our shoulders right now coming into a hockey town like this.  You hear all the stories about all the fans being crazy fans and loving hockey.  They live, breath and die it and that’s the kind of players we are.  We are going to be the same way on ourselves and it’s going to be a good fit I think for all the new guys coming in here.”
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