When I first saw the news about this trade I thought, wait, what? The Flyers traded a guy who scored 52 points last year and was plus 11, for a player the same age, making a similar salary next year, and who was benched at the end of the year after struggling to amass 36 points, and demanded to be traded?
Seriously, I think most people who follow the NHL fully expected the Blue Jackets to buy out R.J Umberger this year. Why would you give up a valuable player like Scott Hartnell for him?
Then I saw that Hartnell just completed the first year of a long term deal with Philadelphia, and while Umberger doesn’t give them salary cap flexibility this year, he will eventually because he’s on a shorter deal. So ok, the Flyers are banking on getting a healthier Umberger this year, which would make him better than he was for the Jackets last year, maybe more like the guy who became a fan favorite in Columbus in previous years. More importantly, they get off the hook for the later years of Hartnell’s deal.
Because, signing players to a long term contract, and then having buyers remorse and trading them is a thing in Philadelphia. (see, Richards, Carter, Van Riemsdyk)
This all leaves me with a question for you Flyer fans out there. What are you doing? Have you considered just not handing out long term contracts to everyone? 😉
For Columbus, this is a pretty good deal. They don’t have the same salary cap issues and Hartnell is a good fit for the tough as nails, but speedy, type of team that they want to build there.
This is all about RJ wanting out and Philly getting a guy with one less contract year and a fan favorite there.
MikeMac on Sports
Yeah I get it, but it’s a weird trade, Hartnell was a lot better than Umberger was last year. RJ was getting out one way or another, so why were the Flyers trying to get rid of Hartnell just to save a year or two of contract? And why do they keep doing this!?!? lol
Haha I dunno. I figure the Jackets, Flyers and Kings think they can only trade with each other and no one else
MikeMac on Sports
The Jackets can trade with the Rangers, Flyers and Kings. 😉
Wait, you two are talking NHL transactions that do not involve the Islanders? Pat LaFontaine is rolling around in his grave.