VOORHEES – Ryan Hartman might not drop the gloves quite as quickly as just-traded ex-Flyer Wayne Simmonds, but he’s willing to play with the same day-in, day-out physical edge to his game.
Hartman, acquired in Monday’s deadline day swap with the Nashville Predators, is a 24-year-old right wing with a lot of “energy’’ in his game.
Energy, in case you didn’t know, is hockey code for don’t mess with me or my teammates.
So maybe the Hilton Head Island, S.C. native can take on some of that role.
“I play a hard style,’’ Hartman said late Monday in a media conference call. “I can hit, get into the dirty areas, get in the corners.
“I remember a picture from when I was with Nashville playing the Flyers and I think it was five guys laying out in front of the net trying to block a shot. When I picture the Flyers uniform I always picture that photo from last time we played the Flyers. That’s the type of hockey I like, dedication to blocking shots and doing the little things right and playing that hard-nosed game.’’
Hartman, a former first-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks (30th overall in 2013), said the trade kind of caught him off-guard.
“I didn’t really see it coming,’’ he said. “I was getting down for my pre-game nap when I got a call from my agent and started hearing some of the buzz about it. Saw that it was potentially with the Flyers and right away I was pretty excited. I’ve always liked the way they’re built and play the game. A lot of excitement. I needed to get myself packed up and catch a flight.’’
Hartman is expected to be in Philadelphia in time for Tuesday morning’s skate before a night game against the Buffalo Sabres.
He was only in Nashville for a year but had a chance to establish some relationships there.
“Nashville was great,’’ he said. “I made a lot of close friends. It was short-lived, exactly a year. I got traded at the deadline last year to Nashville. We kind of, halfway through the year, got bit by the injury bug so guys were kind of playing all over from the first line to the second line and kind of, as things fell into place, started going into a scoring drought.
“There’s a little bit of that where our first line was playing really well and the secondary scoring wasn’t there throughout the lineup and I still think I had a decent year. There’s a lot more hockey to be played and I’m just excited for this fresh start with a new team.’’
Hartman is scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season and, depending on his performance down the stretch, might be a candidate to sign a new contract here.
“(These are) 20 important games, not only for myself but we’re seven points out of a playoff spot,’’ he said. “There’s a lot of hockey to be played. I’m looking to come in and just play the way I’ve always played and that’s hard and a gritty game and just play the right way. I’m looking forward to getting this flight out of the way and getting settled into things and see where I fit in.’’