Hartnell appreciates Gagne's Flyers career

Scott Hartnell teaches young players during a session at SkateZone in Northeast Philly.
Scott Hartnell teaches young players during a session at SkateZone in Northeast Philly.
Posted: July 28, 2010

Dealing with the trade of Simon Gagne to Tampa Bay will be an adjustment for all of the Flyers.

Because Gagne was the longest-tenured player on the team, none of his former teammates knows what life as a Flyer is like without him.

"It was hard to see him go," forward Scott Hartnell said yesterday at a clinic for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation in Northeast Philadelphia. "He's been here for so long. He's done a lot for the city.

"Gags put the puck in the net and everything else. But it is part of the business with the salary- cap issues. I know if we could have squeezed him in, I'm sure Homer [general manager Paul Holmgren] would have done it."

Hartnell joked about what it might be like racing for a puck in the corner against Gagne.

"It will be weird seeing him in a Tampa Bay uniform next year," he said. "It won't be fun playing against him. Pucks will be in the corner and he and I will be going after it and hopefully I will be able to come up with it instead of him."

The loss of Gagne is not the only change. The Flyers have actively added defensemen this offseason.

"What our defense did for us last year in taking us to the [Stanley Cup] final, to add a couple more guys in that department is very good," Hartnell said. "There is nothing wrong with having too many defensemen. It will be interesting to see what happens and who is in the lineup. But it will make for a good training camp and will make it very competitive out there. It should be fun."

Hartnell, who posted 44 points in the regular season and 17 in the postseason, took part in on-ice demontrations and drills with children at the SkateZone in Northeast Philadelphia.

In its fourth full season, the Snider foundation partners with the city school district and the Department of Recreation to bring its programs to 10 sites in the region with over 2,500 participants.

"These kids love to play hockey," Hartnell said. "Twenty years ago this would have been me out there in these summer camps having fun. It is just a great feeling being able to give something back."

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