Hartnell's impact may be felt long after his skating abilities leave the game.
The NHL is full of young talent, with even more coming up in an absolutely loaded 2013 NHL draft class.
The 2013 class is said to have as much, if not more, talent than the 2003 class that produced Mike Richards, Zach Parise, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, among others.
The future of hockey will have two paths to choose, depending on what the CBA does. They can sign as big of money as possible for as long as possible (i.e. Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Sidney Crosby), or they can take the Hartnell route.
The Hartnell contract has opened the door to a rewarding “road less traveled.” He and the Flyers are excited about it (via NHL.com).
"We are pleased to announce that we have agreed with Scott on a multi-year extension," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "Scott has been a very good player for us over the last five seasons and we look forward to many more good years to come."
"I'm pleased to stay in Philadelphia," Hartnell said. "Mr. [Flyers chairman Ed] Snider and Mr. Holmgren made a commitment to me five years ago to be a Flyer and I've absolutely loved every second of it. We've got a great team, a great bunch of guys and a great future chance to win a Stanley Cup. That was a big part of it. I want to win, I play hockey to win and I think we've got a good thing going."
Whether it’s through the CBA or as an example for other players, the Flyers’ No. 19 may have just changed the NHL forever.
His contract for his talent level may not be the norm now, but in three years, it could be.
His deal has caused shockwaves through the hockey world and even led some agents to question “Everyone is asking what the (bleep) he just did.”
Some believe Hartnell is overpaid. Some believe he is underpaid.
That’s subject to debate, but it could be a groundbreaking deal.
The deal also reportedly includes a no-movement clause.
Love him or hate him, Hartnell is staying in Philadelphia, and his contract will leave an imprint on the NHL.
What the CBA is calling contract terms now, we may soon know them as the “Hartnell clause”.
Until then, we’ll just call him “Hartnell Down.”