The Columbus Blue Jackets traded forward R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on Monday to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Scott Hartnell. Umberger had 18 goals and 34 points in 74 games for the Blue Jackets in 2013-14.
Columbus - June 23, 2014 - The Columbus Blue Jackets traded forward R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on Monday to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Scott Hartnell.
Umberger had 18 goals and 34 points in 74 games for the Blue Jackets in 2013-14.
The 32-year-old left wing spent his first three NHL seasons with the Flyers, who traded him to the Blue Jackets in June 2008 for two draft picks. The trade came weeks after he had 10 goals in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Flyers reach the 2008 Eastern Conference Final.
"R.J. is a versatile guy who can play all positions," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "He's a good penalty killer who skates well. He's a veteran who has been around a long time and knows how to play the game properly. He'll be used in a lot of different areas. I think with our team it is nice to have a real versatile guy like him."
Umberger has 169 goals and 366 points in 673 career games, and has scored at least 20 goals five times in nine seasons. He has three seasons left on his contract and will cost $4.6 million against the salary cap.
"It's all come full-circle," Umberger told the Columbus Dispatch. "I'm excited. From my exit interview until now, it felt like a lot of waiting ... a lot of anxiety and just wondering how this was going to go. But I couldn't have asked for a better resolution. It's a city I'm familiar with. It's a franchise that I have so much respect for, and I'm excited to be back."
Hartnell had 20 goals and 52 points in 78 games in 2013-14, his seventh in Philadelphia. He scored at least 20 goals in five of those seven seasons, including a career-best 37 in 2011-12.
"[Hartnell] is the epitome of the type of player we want in our organization," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "He is a talented, tough, hard-working player who brings valuable experience and leadership on and off the ice. We believe he will fit in very well with our group and be an important part of our team moving forward."
The 32-year-old left wing just completed the first season of a six-year, $28.5 million contract and waived his no-trade clause to facilitate the trade. Hartnell's contract has an average annual value of $4.75 million through the 2018-19 season.
In 953 NHL games with the Nashville Predators and Flyers, Hartnell has 250 goals and 537 points. He also has 19 goals and 47 points in 91 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The trade is the fifth in the past three years between the teams. Among the significant ones were In June 2011 when the Flyers traded center Jeff Carter to the Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Jakub Voracek and a draft pick that became Sean Couturier, a June 2012 trade when the Flyers sent goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus for three draft picks and a trade in April 2013 when the Blue Jackets sent goaltender Steve Mason to Philadelphia for goalie Michael Leighton and a draft pick.
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