One of the National Hockey League’s most imposing players will miss up to two months of this abbreviated season.
The Philadelphia Flyers got that bad news about power forward Scott Hartnell, who pumped in 37 goals last season playing with Claude Giroux on his team’s top line. Hartnell suffered a broken foot when defenseman Kimmo Timonen accidentally fired a slap shot off his skate.
The team is signing free agent winger Mike Knuble to park in front of the net on power plays. He can’t replace Hartnell, of course, but he is a respected pro who should fit in just fine.
Wayne Simmonds’ role becomes even bigger with Hartnell’s scoring punch missing. Ditto Brayden Schenn, who got a look on the top line. Ditto Jakub Voracek, who is overdue for his breakout offensive season.
Daniel Briere’s imminent return from a broken wrist should help offset the loss, too.
But for a team that prides itself on playing big, losing the monstrous Hartnell is a serious blow. How many players can top 30 goals and 125 penalty minutes in a season?