Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/29/14 at 02:42 PM ET
The task of meeting his new teammates has already begun for Hartnell, who said he had dinner in Columbus recently with center Brandon Dubinsky.
It was Dubinsky's arrival two years ago with center Artem Anisimov and defenseman Tim Erixon in a trade that sent captain Rick Nash to the New York Rangers that effectively launched the turnaround in Columbus. It continued last summer with the seven-year, $37.1 million contract signed by forward Nathan Horton, who was limited by injuries to 36 regular-season games.
With Horton expected to be healthy in training camp this season, Hartnell is looking forward to getting started with the Blue Jackets, who still have yet to name a captain two years after trading Nash.
"You add a healthy Horton into the mix and bring myself in, it's almost two new players to come in and be effective," Hartnell said. "It's a great team. On paper we match up against anybody in the East. I don't think anybody expected the Rangers to go to the Final last year, so the East is pretty wide open. After a couple of days of mulling this whole thing over, I've had a smile ever since saying I was going to be a Blue Jacket."
Hartnell met with the Columbus media today, you can watch below...
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