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Hartnell signs multiyear extension with Flyers

by Adam Kimelman

As much fun as he's had in his first five seasons with the Philadelphia, Scott Hartnell had no desire to leave.

Monday the team announced Hartnell had signed a multiyear contract extension. Terms of the deal were not released, but reported it is for six years, for a total of $28.5 million.

"We are pleased to announce that we have agreed with Scott on a multiyear extension," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "Scott has been a very good player for us over the last five seasons and we look forward to many more good years to come."

The contract takes effect with the 2013-14 season and will keep Hartnell with the team through the 2018-19 season.

"I'm pleased to stay in Philadelphia," Hartnell said. "Mr. [Flyers chairman Ed] Snider and Mr. Holmgren made a commitment to me five years ago to be a Flyer and I've absolutely loved every second of it. We've got a great team, a great bunch of guys and a great future chance to win a Stanley Cup. That was a big part of it. I want to win, I play hockey to win and I think we've got a good thing going."

Hartnell had a career-best totals of 37 goals, 67 points and 16 power-play goals last season. He was sixth in the NHL in goals and second in power-play goals, and played in his first NHL All-Star Game. He also played all 82 games last season, and has missed three games in five seasons with the Flyers.

He also believes this season was just the start of big things for him.

"I think [Holmgren] saw something in me a little different than in years past," Hartnell said. "I had a lot of confidence in myself. I'm 30 years old now, and who knows when a player slows down, but the way we talked and the way I believe I can play, hopefully I can keep up the pace I had last year for a bunch of years."

Hartnell started last season slowly, with two points -- both assists -- in his first six games, and was skating on the fourth line with limited power-play time. Things changed, however, Oct. 22, when coach Peter Laviolette placed Hartnell on a line with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr. Hartnell credited Jagr for serving as a role model.

"I give Jaromir Jagr a lot of credit for my success," Hartnell said. "Being focused more on hockey, getting upstairs in the gym, being prepared for practice. … I was more in tune and more focused with practicing with him than I have been in my career. I'm going to take a lot of what I learned last year and the success that we had last year and continue that going forward."

Jagr signed with the Dallas Stars in July, but Hartnell said he believes that with Jakub Voracek getting first crack at filling Jagr's top-line role, the chemistry Hartnell, Giroux and Jagr had last season can be recreated with Voracek.

"I think Jake got stronger as the year went on," Hartnell said. "Every game he felt more confident with the puck, and he had a great playoffs. He played his heart out. He has a lot of speed. … He's another left-handed shot who plays the right side like Jags [Jagr] does. I don't think it'll be too hard to find chemistry."

Hartnell also praised Laviolette, whose tough-love style has proven to be the perfect motivation.

"I love the way [Laviolette] coaches," Hartnell said. "He's an offensive-minded coach, he loves to get on the forecheck, he loves guys that hit. He's a real motivator for me. That '24/7' ['Road to the Winter Classic' HBO] series last winter did a good job of how he can call you out in a particular group, call you out in front of everyone, or sit you down if you need a spanking to get going again. I really love the fact that Lavi re-signed as well. Hopefully we can continue that chemistry and build on bigger and better years for the Flyers."

In five seasons with the Flyers, Hartnell has 129 goals and 263 points. He's also become one of the more popular players in team history for his outgoing personality, outsized hair and "Hartnell Down" charity, which turned a fan's joke about his lack of skating ability into a positive fundraising cause.

Hartnell is entering the final season of the six-year deal he signed after being acquired by the Flyers in June 2007. Rather than wait and examine things as an unrestricted free agent next July, Hartnell said all he really wanted to was stay in Philadelphia.

"I haven't had better times than I've had in Philly," he said. "The fans are awesome and I'm really Flyer-ed up to keep it going."

Chosen by the Nashville Predators with the sixth pick of the 2000 NHL Draft, Hartnell has 222 goals and 474 points in 843 games with the Predators and Flyers.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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