photo credit: Jay LePrete/Associated Press
The Philadelphia Flyers acquired forward R.J. Umberger and a 2015 fourth round draft pick from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for left-winger Scott Hartnell.
Umberger played in 74 games for the Blue Jackets last season, scoring 18 goals and contributing 16 assists for 34 points. He was a minus three and averaged 16:10 of ice time per game.
Umberger spent his first three seasons with the Flyers before being traded to the Blue Jackets for two draft picks in 2008. He played in 228 games, tallied 49 goals and 67 assists for 117 total points. The forward spend the next seasons with the Blue Jackets where he scored 120 goals and 130 assists for 250 points.
The Blue Jackets could have used a compliance buyout on Umberger if they hadn’t found a trade partner. The forward started losing ice time to the younger players after the Olympic break last season. He can play all three forward positions and has some speed. He also has talent on the penalty kill and the power play. However, the Flyers have both of the power play units set so he shouldn’t see too much time there.
One of the reasons for the trade was some cap relief for the Flyers down the road. Hartnell has five years left on his contract at $4.75 million per season, while Umberger has only three years left on his contract with a cap hit of $4.6 million per season.
In 78 games last season, Hartnell had 20 goals, 32 assists, 52 points and averaged 15:51 of ice time per game. He has spent the past seven seasons with the Flyers and had played all 953 games with defenseman, Kimmo Timonen. Hartnell and Timonen came over from the Nashville Predators in 2007 via trade.
In 953 games played, the left winger has 250 goals, 287 assists, 537 points with 48 game winning goals. He spent his first six seasons with the Predators. Hartnell is a big body that can stand in front of the opposing goalie on the power play, and can get goals in the crease. He will also bring some leadership to a young Blue Jackets team since he wore the ‘A’ with the Flyers.
Hartnell can slack off or look uninterested during a game and has been benched before because of his lack of production. Hartnell was a big influence off the ice for the Flyers organization. He did a lot of charity work and made himself accessible to the fans.