Scott Hartnell

'From a punk little kid to a father' — Scott Hartnell knows Philly can rely on Claude Giroux

'From a punk little kid to a father' — Scott Hartnell knows Philly can rely on Claude Giroux

Back in December 2018, Scott Hartnell was honored at the Wells Fargo Center. The beloved former Flyer had announced his retirement from the NHL and was setting out on the next phase of his life.

On that Thursday night, Hartnell had his little boy Wesley with him and the two snuck into Claude Giroux's postgame interview.

Hartnell and Giroux were together again, smiling and laughing. In Hartnell's case, the enjoyment of fatherhood had recently begun.

Hartnell has watched Giroux transform from a 20-year-old kid into an NHL star, the 32-year-old leader of the Flyers and now a father himself.

“He’s kind of grown up under our eyes I guess you can say,” Hartnell said Monday on NBC Sports Philadelphia's Flyers Talk podcast.

Giroux and his wife Ryanne welcomed their baby boy Gavin into the world last August. Hartnell and his wife Katie are two weeks from being due with their second child.

The former teammates chatted over FaceTime recently during the NHL pause.

Two dads catching up.

"Just to check in and see how life was up in Ottawa," Hartnell, now an NHL analyst, said. "You could just see talking about his son Gavin and just the light that little man brings to him. Kind of comparing stories because I was just through that maybe eight months ago with how old my son was.

"It’s amazing, when you’re a father, your whole perspective of life changes. It’s all about that little man and your family and just how much joy that gives.

"It’s cool to see him kind of go from a punk little kid to a father and being a good leader for everyone in that dressing room — and for the city of Philadelphia, people look up to him.”

Giroux is the longest-tenured active athlete in the city, going back to 2008, and has been the Flyers' captain since January 2013.

The 2019-20 club was looking like one of his better shots at another run for the Cup.

"Since I was traded, I don't even know now, five, six years ago, this was probably the team that has played the best and probably that gave the players hope, but even the fans hope," Hartnell said. "I hear now that I'm living here in the area that everyone was jacked up, getting ready for the playoffs, how great they are — they lose a game, they come back and they win two, three in a row — everything was trending upwards."

Time will tell if Giroux and the Flyers get a chance to compete in playoff hockey this season. For now, the captain gets more time to be a dad — and Hartnell will enjoy hearing about it.

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Flyers Talk podcast: Stories and memories with special guest Scott Hartnell

Flyers Talk podcast: Stories and memories with special guest Scott Hartnell

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Scott Hartnell, the former Flyer and current NHL analyst.

From Hartnell's Hulk Hogan impression in Pittsburgh to his memories in Philly, let's dive in:

1:15 — Happy belated birthday, Scott!

2:00 — Enjoying life after hockey as the Hartnell family is growing

4:50 — Hartnell sees a 2019-20 Flyers team that has bought in

8:05 — Amazing stories about Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr

11:00 — Watching Giroux grow up as a player and becoming a dad

13:30 — Hartnell discusses the different NHL stoppages

16:25 — Reliving the rivalry with the Penguins

17:40 — The Hulk Hogan impression in Pittsburgh was epic

20:00 — The special 2010 Stanley Cup run

22:50 — The 2019-20 Flyers "really believed"

24:30 — Can the NHL do bubble cities or no fans for the playoffs?

29:00 — Catching up with old teammates and friends

30:15 — Which shows is Hartnell watching?

31:55 — Hartnell chipping in with tree work

33:30  Gritty! A true friend and an upcoming surprise

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Scott Hartnell has a Gritty way to make your own mask

Scott Hartnell has a Gritty way to make your own mask

If you recall, Scott Hartnell and Gritty became good friends in December 2018.

No, they are not brothers or the same person. But their likeness created a special bond.

During this period of self-isolation because of the coronavirus outbreak, Hartnell is still finding ways to show his inner Gritty.

Preparing to go to the grocery store Monday elicited Hartnell's creativity. To stay as safe as possible, the beloved former Flyer made himself what could be a trend-setting mask.

Even when they're apart, Hartnell and Gritty stick together — just like all Flyers fans.

And a good reminder with Flyers flavor:

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Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers