We've all read the chatter about Skinner's suspension. A lot of us have commented on it, although we are not all in agreement. I'm not trying to discuss that here however. There is already a post for that. Earlier today I was watching the replay of yesterday's Penguins-Flyers game. If you didn't see the game there was a fight between Scott Hartnell and Chris Kunitz. See it here.
I have never been a big fan of Scott Hartnell. I don't think many outside of Philly are Hartnell fans. I will say this though. If he were playing on a line with Jeff Skinner, you would probably see young Skinner's game elevate to a new level. Hartnell would protect him with brute force, hate and discontent. He also has the ability to score, notching the game winner yesterday. Goon or not, the guy can play. I don't know what it would take to get him, but if JR somehow managed to make a trade for him I would be giddy.
Now back to the video. I mentioned before that Hartnell is a goon. We all know that. His play on Malkin is not one we'd like to see, so I'm not defending him here. My attention here was drawn to Chris Kunitz. He sees his star hit the deck because of a cheap shop and loses his mind. Hartnell is a tough bastard, we all know that. Kunitz handled him well. Oh, what I'd love to see that on Skinner's line day in and day out.
I'm not necessarily saying I want either of these players, but I'd definitely take them. My point, as many have made before, is that the organization needs players like this. Imagine Hartnell and Allen on the ice when Skinner took that hit from Nichol.
Skinner might have a little more room to roam with a Scott Hartnell patrolling his line because the opposition would know there would be retribution for hits like he's been taking.. For whatever reason, our guys aren't doing that now. I really hope really hope this situation is addressed, just as much as I hope we get that mythical Top 6 player I keep hearing about.