There are some very credible rumors about an upcoming buyout of a rather well-respected National Hockey League veteran.
Columbus Blue Jackets insider Aaron Portzline is now reporting that the Jackets could begin the process of buying out veteran Scott Hartnell as early as Thursday of this week, that is tomorrow at the time of this writing.
While Columbus would have already had the opportunity to use one of their buyouts on Hartnell, Portzline is reporting that the reason it did not come earlier is due to the fact that the Jackets have been attempting to work out a trade for Hartnell.
Should that trade continue to fail to materialize however, it sounds like a buyout is a very realistic option, and given the rumors that have connected Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuk to the Blue Jackets, it may be purely a matter of salary cap space.
Hartnell is widely respected around the league, and as a result it would be very surprising if he did not receive at least some kind of offer from an NHL team. Fans in Philadelphia who were devastated when he was traded would almost certainly welcome him back with open arms if it was at the right price.