Former Preds, Flyers star Scott Hartnell retires after 17 NHL seasons

Scott Hartnell gives the Nashville Predators a 1-0 lead after Ryan Ellis makes a nice stretch pass to put Hartnell on the breakaway puts it past Arizona Coyotes' goalie Antti Raanta.

Scott Hartnell is retiring from professional hockey after 17 seasons in the NHL.

The nine-time 20-goal scorer made the announcement Monday morning by releasing a statement on social media.

“Every young kid from a small town across Canada dreams of playing a game in the NHL,” Hartnell wrote. “I was fortunate enough to play 1,249 of them.

“A huge thank you to the Nashville Predators (twice), the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Columbus Blue Jackets. You are all world class organizations and it was an honor playing for your cities! 17 years in the NHL was the best job anyone could ever ask for. The games, the fans, the travel, the hotels, the food, the pregame soccer games, are just some of the things that I will always remember and miss.”

Hartnell, 36, debuted in the NHL in 2000 after being selected sixth overall by the Predators. The Regina native quickly established himself as a winger that possessed both top-six skill and fourth-line tenacity. After six strong years with the Preds, he was traded to the Flyers with Kimmo Timonen in exchange for Peter Forsberg.

Several of Hartnell’s best seasons came in a Flyers uniform, including the 2011-12 campaign that saw him register a career-high 37 goals and 67 points.

After seven years in Philadelphia, Hartnell spent three with the Blue Jackets before signing back with the Predators for 2017-18.

Hartnell finished his NHL career with 327 goals and 707 points in 1,249 games and added 47 points in 99 career games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. His 1,809 career penalty minutes were second among active NHLers at the time of his retirement behind Zdeno Chara’s 1,839 PIMs.

“Thanks again to my family, friends & all of the fans that cheered for me (and against) along the way,” Hartnell added. “I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife Katie and son Wesley. Cheers to the NHL, and the next phase of life!”

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