Forward Scott Hartnell signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
Hartnell, who began his career with Nashville after the Predators picked him in the first round (No. 6) of the 2000 NHL Draft, was bought out of the final two years of a six-year contract by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.
"I just want to say how I excited I am, [general manager David Poile] and the Predators organization, to sign me," Hartnell said. "Knowing coach [Peter Laviolette] and a few of the guys on the team from last year, I was a big fan of the city of Nashville and the team trying to win that [Stanley Cup]. To be a part of the fold now, it's come almost full circle. I just absolutely loved coming in the last bunch of years to play. I'm just excited to get to Nashville and wish it was October already."
Video: Predators sign F Scott Hartnell to 1-year deal
Hartnell, 35, had 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists) in 78 regular-season games and no points in four Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Blue Jackets last season. He had 146 points (64 goals, 82 assists) in 234 games with the Blue Jackets, who acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on June 23, 2014.
"I think maybe my best way of saying it is [Hartnell] might be kind of a utility fix type of guy," general manager David Poile said. "I certainly see him being used on the power play in the net-front presence. That could be a big difference for us this year with the guys that we've got on the point. I think that whatever amount of ice time that he got in Columbus last year, I think it'll be a good chance he'll get more ice time with us."
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Hartnell played five seasons under Laviolette with the Flyers from 2009-10 to 2013-14.
"Absolutely love the guy," Hartnell said of Laviolette. "How do you not love his intensity? He's so well-spoken. He gets the boys going, and for our Stanley Cup run in Philadelphia (in 2010), it was 100 percent because of Laviolette. I was sad to see him go in Philly and was happy for him to come to a great team in Nashville. I've just been a fan of him ever since the first day he started coaching me.
"Talking to [defenseman] Shea Weber last year and [center] Ryan Johansen the last couple days, everyone loved his personality, loved his attitude and just loves his system and it works, obviously, right? He's done a pretty good job throughout his coaching career so just excited to be a part of the fold and you respect a guy that's in charge like [Laviolette]. Like I said, I can't wait to get this season rolling."
Hartnell is a two-time 30-goal scorer; he had 37 in 2011-12 and 30 in 2008-09. He's reached 60 points three times (67 in 2011-12, 60 in 2008-09, 60 in 2014-15).
He has 683 points (314 goals, 369 assists) in 1,187 NHL games during 16 seasons with the Flyers, Blue Jackets and Predators.
Hartnell never has won the Stanley Cup but helped the Flyers reach the Final in 2010 with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 23 playoff games. He has 47 points (19 goals, 28 assists) in 95 NHL postseason games.