Today is going to be a sad day for a lot of long time hockey fans as one of the truly good guys of the game has officially called it a career.
On Monday morning long time veteran of the National Hockey League Scott Hartnell took to social media to announce that he would officially be retiring from play in the National Hockey League. It's hard to overstate just how universally loved Hartnell was in every city that he played for during his NHL career. His happy go lucky attitude on and off the ice was infectious, but it was his charity work in every community that he played for that made him truly stand out as one of the NHL's model players and an example for other pro athletes across North American and even around the globe.
I'm willing to bet that there will be more than a few tears shed by fans at this announcement especially in the cities of Nashville and Philadelphia where Hartnell truly made his mark and became entrenched with both of those fan bases. Unsurprisingly a consistently class act like Scott Hartnell released an extremely classy and gracious statement today along with his announcement.
Here is Hartnell's announcement unedited and in full:
Every young kid from a small town across Canada drams of playing a game in the NHL... 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.
I was lucky to have so many great teammates along the way. I can't tell you how many laughs and good times we had together. The absolute best!
I wouldn't have gotten anywhere in life if it wasn't for my Mom, Dad, and my family. You guys have taught me so many lessons in life such as hard work, staying true to myself, and most importantly- The golden rule!
A huge thank you to my agents Dino and Matt, and all of the O2K Management staff. I appreciate your friendship, your guidance, and your support throughout my career. I loved our phone calls just for a laugh, and even the tough calls when i needed a kick in the butt!! Thanks for all you did for me during my hockey playing days... but even more now during this transition to life after hockey!
Thanks again to my faimly, friends, and all of the fans that cheered for me(and against) along thew way.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!
In case you can't tell I'm someone who has a lot of time for genuinely good dudes like Scott Hartnell and I can't express enough how much I hope he finds just as much success in the next chapter of his life as he did in the NHL. The NHL is a little less bright today due to his departure, but he's more than earned his rest.