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Flyers coach: No all-star nod for Hartnell would be “criminal”

Jan 11, 2012, 1:14 PM EDT

Scott Hartnell Getty Images

Tomorrow the NHL will announce the remaining selections for the 2012 All-Star Game. And if Scott Hartnell isn’t among those selections, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette might call the police.

“I’m not lobbying, but it would be criminal for Scott Hartnell not to be on there,” Laviolette said, as per CSNPhilly.com.

“In my opinion, he is the top power forward in the game right now. Based on numbers, based on the season, plus/minus, hits, physical play, goals and assists, you’d have to come up with somebody who’s had a better year than Scott.”

Tough to disagree there – Hartnell has 18 goals, 19 assists and 86 hits. Among NHL forwards with more goals, only Pittsburgh’s James Neal (21G, 15A, 50 hits) is a prototypical power forward.

Be interesting to see if Hartnell makes it. The only Flyer that deserves to be picked more is Claude Giroux, but could Jaromir Jagr get the nod for promotional purposes and force the blue-collar guy out?

  1. ballistictrajectory - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    “…the top power forward in the game right now…”

    I don’t know about that, but Hartnell is one of the few players I’d like to see play for Boston. He’s got great netfront skill and knows how to go into the corners and get the puck. We’ve seen him long enough to know he’s a regular contributor. Think of any of the last few NHL major games where Philly was involved. He’s earned the respect of a visit to the All-Star game. Give him a chance to play when he doesn’t have to leave “street-cred” all over the ice.

    • vshehane - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Love him or hate him, I have to agree, he is real asset. I loved it when he played in Nashville, wish we still had him.

  2. onearmdragon - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Hartnell is a good player, not great. I remember when Glen Murray was the best power forward in the game. Unfortunately for him and the Bruins, without Jumbo Joe Thorton, Glen Murray couldn’t score on empty nets. If Hartnell was the best we would have been saying this 3 or 4 years ago, not now, and not with the NHL scoring leader as a center. He’s good, just not nearly great or elite.

    We have to stop pretending that good wingers with elite centers are “the best in the game.” Hope the GM remembers that when he wants to resign him. Who you play with means so much to a forward, too bad contracts can’t somehow balance out the reality of teams score not so many players. Well maybe like 6 or players are that good, until they get hurt anyway.

    No disrespect to Hartnell but personally I would take Lucic over Hartnell every day and 4 times a day in the playoffs.

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    All I know is Harts is top 10 in +/- and 11th in points (that’s if go with ties). He should be in the All-Star weekend event but it won’t happen. He could use it as motivation. The Flyers won’t mind that at all.

  4. philsosexy - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Hahahahahahahha

  5. chaseutley - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    I like Hartnell and appreciate the fact that Laviolette has his back, but Hartnell’s numbers are largely a function of his situation. Through the first seven games of the year, Hartnell had no goals, 2 assists, and a lot of Flyers fans were ready to ride him out of town on a rail.

    With him struggling, Laviolette juggled the lineup and put Hartnell on the first line with Giroux (Hart Trophy candidate) and Jagr (Hall of Famer) and, as one might expect, his production skyrocketed (35 points in his next 34 games).

    It’s been a great year for Hartnell and great job by Laviolette in getting the most out of his player, but “top power forward in the game right now” seems like a bit of an oversell. Hartnell is a good player in a great situation.

  6. danphipps01 - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Meh. Show me a power forward who excels in a situation where he ISN’T surrounded by superstars that make even the worst players look good standing next to them. Iginla, for instance, has had great seasons every year leading up to this one while having a legitimate #1C like, what, once since the lockout? Hartnell’s actually capable of two-way play, so that’s something he does that Iginla can’t, but as power forwards go, Iginla’s pretty much as good as they come. Unlike Hartnell, Lucic, even Neal, you can’t say he’s a product of a top-tier centre setting him up all the time. He doesn’t have a Giroux, a Bergeron/Krejci or a Malkin. He has a Jokinen. A JOKINEN FOR GOD’S SAKE.

    Seriously, if he can score thirty-plus with THAT taking the faceoffs he’s pretty much solid gold.

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