COLUMBUS- Today the Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to terms on a Five-Year contract extension with forward RJ Umberger. It was announced by Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Scott Howson. The deal is worth $23 million, paying Umberger an average of $4.6 million per season. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the contract includes a no-trade clause for the first two years and a modified no-trade clause for the remaining three seasons.
“We are pleased that we were able to come to an agreement with RJ. RJ’s commitment to the team and the city has been impactful since we acquired him three years ago. We are very excited about him continuing to play such a large role on our team,” Scott Howson said when addressing the media.
The Pittsburgh-native was originally drafted in the 1st round (16th overall) by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2001 National Hockey League Entry draft, after spending three seasons with the Ohio State University.
Umberger began his playing career with the Philadelphia Flyers organization spending three seasons wearing the Flyers jersey. The 26 year old collected 49 goals and 67 assists in 228 regular season contests before joining the Jackets.
The 6’2 winger has scored 74 goals and added 84 assists in 3 full seasons with the Blue Jackets.
“He would have been one of the top free agents out there next summer. Twenty-five goal scorers are hard to find and he’s a complete player. He is hard to play against,” Howson said.
Umberger joins newly acquired Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski as key components locked up for the long term in Columbus.
As pressure began to build for GM Scott Howson heading into the June draft in Minnesota, large tasks have been taken care of and as a result, give the Blue Jackets a chance to return to the post season for only the second time in franchise history.
Blue Jackets Notebook
The following players have been returned to their respective junior clubs. Michael Chaput, Boone Jenner, Dalton Smith, Lukas Sedlak, Austin Madaisky and Mathieu Corbeil.
Released from camp were Wade MacLeod and Mike Thomas. Both players have been invited to attend camp with the Blue Jacket’s American Hockey League affiliate, Springfield Falcons.
The Blue Jackets host the Washington Capitals at the Nationwide Arena tonight as they continue their pre-season schedule.