Columbus Blue Jackets give Scott Hartnell the ‘thank you’ Ryan Johansen wanted

Columbus Blue Jacket Scott Hartnell
Columbus Blue Jacket Scott Hartnell /

During tonight’s game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Nashville Predators, a graphic welcoming back Scott Hartnell for his time in Columbus showed on the jumbotron.

This should not be a big surprise to fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the last couple of years. Scott Hartnell was known to be a veteran that the team could count on to do what was needed, especially if it included dropping the gloves to protect his teammates.

The movement towards a younger, faster team ultimately led to parting ways in June of this year following three years with the Jackets. Once he was on the market, it did not take long for Nashville to reach out and offer a one-year contract to Hartnell to return to where he started.

Tonight, during the game a graphic showed welcoming back (and basically thanking) Hartnell for his time with the Columbus Blue Jackets but nothing is done without causing a little controversy.

Former CBJ centerman Ryan Johansen also returned to Columbus in February as part of the Nashville Predators and no “thank you” was put up onto the board. As a matter of fact, there was not any kind of show that Johansen was ever a Blue Jacket other than the occasional fan wearing his #19 Jersey during that return.

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There was a little bit of hurt as Johansen was quoted as saying “I was a little disappointed they didn’t put anything on the [scoreboard] to say thank you or anything like that. I think we all know who made that call, but whatever.” after the game. This is sure to only be compacted by the fact that Hartnell will be receiving his figurative salute tonight.

Scott Hartnell played for the Jackets for three years in 234 games while Ryan Johansen played in Columbus for five years in 309 games. Every indication points towards the fact that there should have been a recognition for Johansen if there was going to be one for anyone.  This begs the question of why there wasn’t one?

In the above quote from Johansen he says that we all know who made the call not to honor him but I don’t think that is the case. When Johansen left there were rumors of animosity between Johansen and the front office but nothing was ever stated publicly. Was this who he meant or was there someone else that Johansen thought wanted him out of Columbus?

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Is Hartnell more deserving of the nod? Let me know if you think that Johansen should have received recognition in the comments.