Scott Hartnell deal baffles NHL agents

Winger Scott Hartnell sounded happy Monday afternoon speaking about his new six-year, $28.5-million contract extension, which will make him a Philadelphia Flyer through the 2018-19 season. But hockey agents, according to a story from csnphilly.com, believe the rugged forward undervalued himself.

“Everyone is asking what the (bleep) he just did,” one agent told Flyers beat reporter Tim Panaccio Tuesday.

Hartnell would have been set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2012-13 season, when his previous six-year deal with the Flyers expires.

Hartnell’s cap hit will rise from $4.2 million to $4.75 million in 2013-14, but after a career season in which the Regina native scored 37 goals, added 30 assists and played in his first All-star Game, it’s evident he took less money now in exchange for a long-term peace of mind.

Under the present CBA, which expires Sept. 15, all player contracts are guaranteed.

Hartnell, 30, also got a no-movement clause, and says he believes the Flyers have a chance at winning the Stanley Cup – a high priority for him.

Yet Panaccio estimates that Hartnell could have gotten at least $5.5 million and likely more in free agency next summer with another decent campaign.

As a player rep, Hartnell is part of the CBA negotiating committee, and his potentially undervalued extension could irk some of his fellow NHLPA members.

From Hartnell’s point of view, it was an effort in job security at a time when the ins and outs of a new CBA are still very much up for debate. He will be 37 when his new contract expires.

“I don’t think my value would have changed that much in a year,” Hartnell told the site. “I’d be another year older.

“If you look at this deal, it’s basically a seven-year deal. I still have one year left on my (current) contract. I think I got a lot of years left, a lot left in the tank.”