Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/18/14 at 08:08 AM ET
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Sources have told The Dispatch that R.J. Umberger’s end-of-season meeting with Blue Jackets management and coaches ended with a mutual agreement that Umberger would go on the trading block this summer.
Umberger, who was a healthy scratch in four late-season games, requested the trade, the sources said. He declined to comment when reached by The Dispatch on Friday. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen, reached at the world championships in Belarus, also declined to comment.
Umberger, who is signed through the 2016-17 season at a $4.6 million salary-cap hit, has a no-trade clause in his contract through June 14. On June 15, the full no-trade clause becomes a limited clause, and Umberger will provide the Blue Jackets with 10 NHL clubs to which he would not approve a trade.That would leave 19 teams.
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.
Coach Todd Richards never said specifically why he was scratching Umberger, only that he wanted to play a faster, more physical game and had other players — Corey Tropp, specifically — who were playing more to his liking.
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