The Philadelphia Flyers have officially bought out the final year of R.J. Umberger’s contract, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Umberger, 34, has one year remaining on his deal, a five-year extension with a $4.6 million cap hit he signed with Columbus in 2011. The move gives the Flyers $3 million of cap relief this season, but $1.5 million will remain on the books next season.
Umberger, who is finishing his second stint with the Flyers, was acquired two summers ago in a deal for Scott Hartnell. The deal was controversial at the time and is still a head-scratcher for many, though it is clear that Hextall made the move to free the Flyers of the last two years of Hartnell’s contract, especially considering his performance had declined in Philly. Hartnell is now on the trading block in Columbus, though he has played very well for the Blue Jackets.
The Umberger buyout comes as no surprise, especially considering Umberger himself said in his exit interview at the end of the season that he expected to be bought out based on his poor play.
Umberger played through significant injuries in the 2014-2015 season and was unable to find his game this past season, scoring only two goals and 11 points in 39 games. He was a healthy scratch in 23 of the final 24 games of the season, playing only in the final game of the year, a meaningless contest against the Islanders.
Umberger played for the Flyers for three seasons (2005-2008) but was traded to Columbus in the summer of 2008 despite an incredible playoff performance in which he scored 15 points in 17 playoff games. He scored three goals in Columbus’ four-game playoff series in 2009, and he tallied an assist in four playoff games last season. He has 180 goals and 212 assists for 392 points in 779 career games with the Flyers and Blue Jackets.
Featured Image Credit: Yong Kim-Philly.com