The Columbus Blue Jackets bought out the contract of left wing Scott Hartnell today, ending his three-year tenure in Columbus.
The 35-year-old was slated to earn $4.75 million dollars in each of the next two seasons and the Blue Jackets will save $3.25 million on his cap hit. Hartnell came to the Jackets in June 2014 in a trade from Philadelphia for R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick.
Hartnell’s best season with the Jackets came in 2014-15 (his first), when he potted 28 goals and 32 assists. This season saw his time dip (12:04 average time on ice, down five minutes from that first year) and his production fall to 37 points with 13 goals.
Originally drafted by Nashville sixth overall in the 2000 NHL Draft, Hartnell spent six seasons as a Predator before a seven-year stint in Philadelphia. He played in his 1,000th NHL game in February 2015 against Los Angeles.
Hartnell amassed 146 points (64 goals) in 234 games with Columbus.
Hartnell had long been a buyout candidate, but the timing comes a week after the NHL Expansion Draft and days before free agency. The Jackets, like so many other teams, are skewing younger.