When R.J. Umberger asked to be traded, we speculated about what the return might be. I don't think any of us thought it would be for a player that has as much to bring to the table as Scott Hartnell, but here we are. The Blue Jackets announced this morning that they sent Umberger and a 2015 4th round pick to the Flyers for Hartnell.
Hartnell, 32, is coming off a decent season for the Flyers, with 20 goals and 32 assist in 78 games, spending a lot of time on the Flyers' top line. For his career (13 seasons), he has 250/288/538 in 953 games. He also has amassed a whopping 1452 PIM in that time.
"We are proud and excited to welcome Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets as he is the epitome of the type of player we want in our organization," said Kekalainen. "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. We would also like to thank R.J. for his years of service to our club and extend our best wishes to him and his family."
While moving Umberger and getting a decent asset probably seems like a complete coup at the outset, we must also acknowledge some contract ramifications as well. Hartnell is signed for five more seasons at a cap hit of $4.75 million. So, the club is not saving any money for the next three seasons, and is on the hook for two more seasons beyond Umberger's contract. Right now, the player in Hartnell is definitely a better value for the money. But, will he remain so for those last two years? We shall see.
It should be noted that, in terms of real dollars, the contract he signed with Philly was front-loaded. Hartnell makes $5 million this coming season, and that number drops each season for the remainder of his contract down to $3 million in 2018-2019.