• December 9, 2022

June 23rd Strikes Again – Flyers Trade Hartnell for Umberger

“It’s deja vu all over again.”

June 23, 2011- The Philadelphia Flyers trade Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

June 23, 2012- The Philadelphia Flyers trade James van Riemsdyk.

June 23, 2014- The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that they have traded veteran forward Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for centerman R.J. Umberger and a fourth round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

New York Rangers  v Columbus Blue JacketsNew general manager Ron Hextall has made the first big transaction of his tenure, with mixed reactions from many fans and media members alike.

Hartnell, 32, has had a fair share of up-and-down seasons over his seven seasons in Philadelphia. The top line left winger potted 20 goals and 52 points this season while playing with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.

The largest benefit of the move is that Hartnell has five years remaining on his current contract, worth $4.75 million per season, and while he may still have several more productive NHL seasons, it is increasingly unlikely that he repeats as a 25-goal scorer as the contract continues.

On the other hand, one of the offseason topics of discussion has been upgrading the offense with another top six left wing. Regardless of your opinions on Hartnell, the team currently does not have anyone set to replace him unless the organization feels that Tye McGinn is ready to handle his minutes.

Additionally, the acquisition of Umberger doesn’t make much sense in the short-term.

Umberger, 32, has a similarly bloated contract in comparison to Hartnell’s, albeit a shorter one- three years, $4.6 million per year. The Flyers will shave two years of cap space off the books, but Umberger has been a steeper decline than Hartnell already. This past season, he scored 18 goals and 34 points.

As mentioned earlier, Umberger is also a centerman. Unless he moves to left wing, it likely means another trade or two is coming. Hextall has said repeatedly that his #1 priority is re-signing Brayden Schenn, and yet there have been no rumors of any kind as far as how those discussions have progressed. Schenn could be moved to wing, again, but this move raises a lot of questions.

Umberger played for the Philadelphia Phantoms during the 2004-05 season and was a member of the Flyers from 2005-2008. Umberger is remembered best for his performances during the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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Denny Basens
June 23, 2014 1:01 pm

Personally, I won’t miss Hartnell…I always thought he was incredibly unreliable…he’d just lose his focus and disappear for long stretches at terrible times, including the playoffs. This past post-season, he was a complete non-factor….good time to move on from him.

Unfortunately, as Josh states, its another move to bring in yet another centerman. I expect them to part ways with Lecavalier one way or other, but even without him they still have too many centers and not enough wings…

June 23, 2014 1:05 pm

BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! New GM, same ole $#!T! Another washed up retread, returns. Thus, not winning since 1975 season! SMMFH!!!!!!!

June 23, 2014 1:06 pm

Only good thing, 2 less years on the contract, & they save couple $100G per. 😀

June 23, 2014 3:50 pm

Where is the plan? What kind of team are they trying to be ? The run their organization like they were trading hockey cards. New GM same old stuff.

June 23, 2014 5:43 pm

Lateral move with everything factored in. Short term Colmbus might get offence edge but long term Flyers get out of the long term contract. Hartnel is definitely going to need a setup man, not sure what cbj has comparable to giroux…

June 23, 2014 7:14 pm

Schenn resigned for 2 years. 5 mil

June 24, 2014 4:44 pm
Reply to  Josh Janet

Yeah that will be a tough line to play against. Johansen is no G but he is definitely skilled.

June 23, 2014 9:50 pm

Pathetic. This team loves to trade muckers for other muckers (as long as they are former Flyers). Who in their right mind signs a mediocre player like Hartnell to a long-ass contract at $4.75 million AND gives him a no-trade clause? Why does this team always put former muscle-heads like Holmgren and Hextall and Berube into positions where thinkers are required? Ed Snider has been a bad owner for a long time.

June 24, 2014 8:19 am

He is not a better center than any in the current flyers lineup and he is a worse winger than they guy they traded to get him.

June 24, 2014 10:16 am

Did I hear correctly that Umberger was a healthy scratch for Columbus during the Playoffs this year?

June 24, 2014 10:23 am

He played like he was scratched, but he played. 1 point in 5 games.

I read that Columbus was seriously considering buying out his salary before they traded him.

June 24, 2014 3:40 pm

Should make a run at Sharp to play LW for Giroux. 5.9 cap hit until for next 3 years. Would Chicago be interested in Vinny in a package if they can’t get Spezza or Kesler?

June 24, 2014 4:46 pm
Reply to  bugsyhawk

That is a former flyer I would take back….revisit that thought in 5 years when he is on his decline

June 25, 2014 8:28 am

I know Josh, but I can dream.