Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger will likely be playing for a new team next season.
According to Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch, the 32-year-old requested a trade from the Blue Jackets and the team will do their part to move him this summer.
Umberger had a rough season in what was ultimately a very successful one for the organization. While he had 18 goals and 34 points this season, it wasn’t all happy times as Portzline said:
Umberger was angered and hurt late in the regular season when he was made a healthy scratch four times in a seven-game stretch while the Blue Jackets were fighting for a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
He has two years left on his contract with a $4.6 million cap hit and has a limited no-trade clause on his deal that becomes a full no-trade clause that allows him to pick a list of 10 teams he won’t accept a deal to that starts on June 15.
It may be a hard sell to deal a guy who at this point in his career is a 20-goal, 40-point player per season and has that kind of cap hit. That said, he’s been a steady and consistently healthy guy and you could do worse.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.