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Scott Hartnell Has Become a Classic Philadelphia Flyers Character: Fan’s Take
Left wing Scott Hartnell has been wearing a Philadelphia Flyers jersey for five seasons. During that time he has developed quite a reputation. Since arriving his team-themed orange hair grew to 1970s 'rock star' size, he threw his glove at a puck that was on its way to an empty net and he has aggravated opposing fans and foes across North America.
The All-Star left wing shares many of the same personality points that a variety of players and coaches throughout the team's history have also exhibited. There is no doubt that he is clearly a 'Bullie' in the classic mold.
The right ingredients
Earlier this season, the Saskatchewan native was barely breaking into double-digit ice minute totals and seemed destined to join the healthy scratch club.
But, head coach Peter Laviolette responded to a series of injuries by continuing to remix his four offensive lines with every offseason part that general manager Paul Holmgren had provided to him. One result was Hartnell's addition to the Claude Giroux-Jaromir Jagr recipe.
Currently scoring at the highest points-per-game ratio of his career (0.89) 'Hartnell Down' has cemented his stature as one of this franchises all-time great characters.
Some of Holmgren's counterparts around the National Hockey League questioned his ability to circumvent the free agent process by acquiring the rights to Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen. They believed his move violated the spirit of the existing system. Those concerns never turned into retraction and have since been repeated by Holmgren and other general managers across the League.
Deep orange-hued list
The Flyers organization has played host to some of the most varied and colorful personalities that the world of professional sports has ever known.
Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Dave Schultz, Fred Shero, Bob Kelly, Holmgren himself, Pat Quinn, Ken Linseman, Glen Cochrane, Mike Keenan, Ron Hextall, Craig Berube, Dave Brown, Rick Tocchet, Roger Neilson, Ken Hitchcock, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Pronger and Ilya Bryzgalov are just some of the names on that deep orange-hued list.
Hartnell's play and personality have fully emerged this season. Through both he has elevated his status as a top line forward in the NHL and will remain of the enduring personalities in Philadelphia's already rich hockey history.
Sean O'Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He has written professionally for over two decades and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his daily Sports Blog: Insight
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