Welcome back, R.J. Umberger.
The Philadelphia Flyers acquired Umberger and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Scott Hartnell on Monday.
Umberger makes a return to the Flyers after spending the past six seasons with Columbus. Last season, Umberger had 18 goals and 16 assists in 74 games to help the Blue Jackets reach the playoffs.
“He’s a versatile player, a good skater, a good two-way player,” Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. “He plays all three positions and can kill penalties. He is an attractive guy for us moving forward.”
The Flyers also made another move, signing centre Brayden Schenn to a multi-year contract.
Umberger began his NHL career with the Flyers in 2005-06 and had 49 goals and 67 assists in 228 games over three seasons from 2005-2008. He was traded to Columbus on June 20, 2008, after helping the Flyers reach the Eastern Conference finals that spring with 10 goals and five assists in 17 playoff games.
“It was apparent that the team was ready to play the younger guys here,” Umberger said. “Last few years they got some great young talent and the young guys deserved to play. Some are waiting to come in next year. It was understandable and from a business side.”
Umberger gives the Flyers some cap relief. He has three years left on his contract at $4.6-million per year while Hartnell has five years remaining at $4.75-million per.
The popular Hartnell appeared in 517 games for the Flyers over seven seasons with 157 goals and 169 assists. He was acquired from Nashville on June 18, 2007.
“He has hockey left in him,” Hextall said. “Versatility, length of contract, and speed are the main points we thought about here.”
Schenn had a career high in points (41), goals (20) and assists (21) in 82 games this past season.
The Blue Jackets made another move by re-signing backup goalie Curtis McElhinney to a one-year extension. He was 10-11-1 with a 2.78 goals-against-average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts in a career-high 28 games last season, his first with Columbus.