directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Now we're talkin!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Now we're talkin!

According to Puck-rakers former Ohio State producted RJ Umberger could be on the Jackets radar:

Rumors are spreading in Ottawa that Umberger, who attended Ohio State, could be headed to the Blue Jackets at some point this weekend. No word on what the Blue Jackets would be trading to Philly.

The Flyers just re-upped with center Jeff Carter, according to Carter, who could have been a restricted free agent on July 1, signed for three years and at least $15 million.

Perhaps this makes it easy for Philly to move Umberger, who is not the No. 1 center lots of Blue Jackets are wanting, but he would significantly upgrade the position.

Now we are making some sense.

RJ of course is not the end all be all at center but as Portzline suggests, the man is an upgrade over anything we've got here.

Umberger is 6'2" 200 lb center. He's 26 and has got 3 seasons of NHL experience. He's scored 50, 28 and 38 points respectively. His 37 assists last year were 28th best in the league for centers.

Not earth shattering I know but do you want to know where the closest Jacket was? 63rd...and that was Michael Peca with 26 helpers.

Heck with his 50 points Umberger was 40th overall in scoring for centers. The closest Jacket - 82nd overall in Peca with 36 points.

Umberger put up these point totals behind Daniel Briere, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. With top 6 minutes I don't think its too far of stretch that he could step into the Jackest lineup and put up better numbers playing next to Nasher and get quality PP time.

He also had 64 hits (good for 10th on team), 59 blocked shots (8th), 40 takeaways (4th), 143 shots (8th) and gave the puck away only 32 times (13th). Drawbacks he was only 38% in the face off circle.

Dude was also a beast in he playoffs with 10g, 5a in 17 games.'s breakdown:

Is a confident offensive player with excellent size and shooting ability. Can also pass the puck with aplomb, and is capable of playing both center and wing.

Still needs some work in the defensive zone, and must play a more consistent brand of hockey in order to thrive at the NHL level.

Career potential
Top six forward.

The best thing about him is that he isn't going to break the bank both finacially and in terms of assets it will take to acquire him. His current team the Philly Flyers just resigned another young stud center in Jeff Carter to a 3 year 15mil deal which puts them dangerously close to the cap. RJ is an RFA and I just don't see how the Flyers can fit him so it appears he is the odd man out.

So what's it going to cost? I start with our 2nd round - the 37th overall - and there choice of Dan Fritsche, OK Tollefsen or Gilbert Brule. They get a low cost roster player and pick. This allows Howson to retain the 19th overall to bring in another body as well as make the pick at 6.

He's probably not the headline grabber Jackets fans were thinking. However this would be a smart add and he is a natural center tha can play wing as well. He scored more than a guy like Marleau last year and should only get better. Not a premier playmaker but he makes play makes. I would think he'd sign for a 3 mil a year over a couple of years.

Umberger in the top 6 would be a start - especially if we don't have to move the 19th for him which we could grab another body with (Kubina anyone?). Howson could also then bring in another center (Morrison?) via UFA and then we start looking decent down the middle. If a guy like Brassard is ready then the beautiful thing is that RJ can play wing or someone bumps down to the 3rd hole.

Don't forget that he's entirely familiar with this area which is icing on the cake.

Keep your eye on this player.

Only a few hours to go!



Neal said...

I know we're all hoping that GHSH somehow manages to get a guy like Jason Spezza tonight and a mega deal that lopsidedly favors the CBJ. Unfortunately, I don't think that is a realistic expectation.

I'll be very happy/impressed with GMSH if can come out of this weekends draft with a top D prospect, and a pair of proven NHL talents like Umberger and Kubina.

Rick said...

How about this?

Nash Marleau Malone
Zherdev Umberger Modin

Starting to look a little better, perhaps?

Sean said...

I feel really good about this deal. It makes alot of sense and doesn't take alot of cents.

Anonymous said...

Bring on RJ! He's a budding stud. Time for Brassard and Voracek to step up too!

Nash RJ Modin
Zherdev Brassard Voracek

O H ...

Anonymous said...

RJ would be a nice add as a supplemental player, but let's hope we add more than him before training camp.