The Best Offseason Ever continues to roll with Scott Howson hopping on Twitter this morning to announce the team has inked forward R.J. Umberger to a five year extension.
Aaron Portzline quickly followed up to announce the extension will pay Umberger to the tune of $23 million dollars, with 5 million paid in the first year of the contract, and the remaining years at $4.5.
Umberger has been a "heart and soul" player in the dressing room since arriving in the 2008-2009 season, having been acquired in trade from Philadelphia at the previous summer's draft. Earning an "A" on his sweater almost immediately, he's grown into a veteran presence and a solid scoring threat behind captain Rick Nash for this team, and this extension continues to keep him as part of the "core group" with Nash, Jeff Carter, James Wisniewski, Fedor Tyutin, and Antoine Vermette.
The most interesting news is that Umberger asked for (and received) a no trade clause for the first two years, and a modified NTC for the remaining 3 - a big statement of support for the direction of the franchise.
Whenever the subject of an extension was brought up to Umberger this offseason, he was confident that it would get done before the start of the season. Given his importance to the team and the fans, it's great to see his confidence was well placed.