|Scott Hartnell (Photo credit: Crashmaster007)|
Hartnell was hit in last Tuesday's loss to the New Jersey Devils by a shot taken by teammate Kimmo Timonen.
"He's a big loss because of how he plays the game. A month or two months is a hard pill to swallow," said Holmgren.
Over five seasons, Hartnell has had more ups and downs and stops and starts, but has grown from a forceful and reckless power forward to the Flyers' best scorer. He was known for his durability; Hartnell missed just three games in those five seasons.
Now the Flyers are without the multifaceted Hartnell. They've signed veteran Mike Knuble, who failed a tryout for the Red Wings earlier this month, but played one game for their AHL affiliate before getting the call from Holmgren Thursday morning. Knuble, who played with the Flyers from 2005-08, is considered one of the game's best leaders and averaged 28.5 goals per season during his four seasons with the Flyers.
"Obviously we're familiar with Mike. He was here for a few years, and he's a good guy. A good, big, and heavy player. We think he's a good guy to throw in the mix right now. He's excited to come back. He's familiar with some of our players. There's still a few guys left here from when he last played... He'll be an excellent role model to our young guys," said Holmgren.
Hartnell had one assist in three games this season and posted 37 goals and 30 assists last season.
Holmgren was asked if players should be wearing skate guards to prevent injuries like the one that happened to Hartnell. "It hinders guys a little bit. You don't want to mess with a player's skates... Obviously it's an issue. I think in the last five years we've had Simon Gagne, Brayden Schenn, Jeff Carter, Chris Ponger, and Scotty now with similar injuries from blocking shot," Holmgren said.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
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