directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Umberger signed

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Umberger signed

Cross another RFA off the list -- RJ Umberger has been signed to a 4 year 15 million dollar deal (3.75 per) by the Jackets.

I believe that deal buys up a couple of unrestricted years and will take him to the age of 30. Also its one less guy the Jackets have to worry about receiving an offer sheet.

So the Jackets have their center. No he's not an ideal #1 but he's the most capable guy we've ever had and he's only 26. The hope is that he'll find some chemistry with Nash or Modin. Ideally he slots in between Nash and Huselius but chemistry can be a fickle thing. He'll certainly be a fixture within the top 6 for years to come.

Howson's comments on the signing:
"Acquiring R.J. last month was an important first step in our efforts to improve the hockey club this summer and we are pleased that he will be a part of our organization for the next four years," said GM Scott Howson. "He is a competitive, hard-working player who will add versatility to our top six forwards."

With this signing it brings the Jackets payroll up to 43.02 million with 20 players expected to make the team. Here is the breakdown:

Nash (6.5) Umberger (3.0) Huselius (4.75)
Modin (3.5) Brassard (.850) Torres (2.4)
Murray (.600) XXX Boll (.570)
Chimera (1.875) Malhotra (1.5) Voracek (.850)
Extra: Novotny (.800)

Commodore (4.3) Hejda (2.0)
Tyutin (2.25) Klesla (1.65)
Russell (.575) Backman (3.4)
Extra: Tollefsen (.750)

Leclaire (?)
Norrena (.900)

Peca is speculated to be a target for that XXX on the 3rd line but haven't heard much about him since last week. Of course Howson still needs to get Leclaire under contract and by not filing for arbitration both sides must at least be in the ballpark.

It has also been mentioned on HF that Nikita Filatov has been signed to a rookie contract. I have yet to see an official announcement about that. However rookie contracts are probably the easiest to complete as the CBA has tight controls over those entry level deals so it wouldn't surprise me in the least. Apparently he's moving to North America permanently in August.

According to Puck-rakers Howson has backloaded Umberger's contract -- 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 & 4.5. Also a reader has sent me a link to Commodore's deal, it is actually front loaded at 4.3, 4, 4, 3.75 & 2.7.

If anyone has an update on how Huselius's contract is structured please let me know.

I will adjust the numbers accordingly.

Discuss - Do you like RJ's contract terms?



wizworm said...

That's a good signing by the Jackets, especially considering what some FA's have gone for this summer.

Max said...

A little more on the end of the contract than I'd like to see, but I'm glad we got him wrapped up. Of course we have to overpay to get names here, and with Commodore's contract backloaded, it balances out. Now get Leclaire signed!!!

markislander said...

I think it was a good signing he"s young and like LTL said lets hope he can work with one of our top lines,now we need to get rid of manny and sign peca and Leclair,and im good to go.

Todd G said...

Not sure why you would want to get rid of Manny...we're not exactly loaded at the center position.

markislander said...

I know just not a fan as far as im concern he sucks but you got to do with what you got.lets hope somone eles can step up and have a breakout year.

Todd G said...

We are way overdue for a breakout year from someone...anyone...for the love of God!!!

Anonymous said...

The dispatch is reporting Peca will be back

Good move to fill out the roster

Rick said...

Whoo Hoo!!! My boy is back!! I'm tellin' ya, it's the intangibles he brings. Gooooo Jackets!!!

Jeff_E said...

Free agent centre Brendan Morrison is off the free agent list, as the B.C. native is set to join the Anaheim Ducks. Terms of the impending contract are not known, but it is expected to be a one- or two-year deal.

Anonymous said...


why is it that you show the Murray, Peca, Boll line as 3rd line? It seems to me that Chimmer, Manny, and Voracek would be a far superior scoring threat.

LTL said...

Anonymous - lets just say I was given a very good hint about the lines in a certain coaches head :)

That said I would look at the 3rd/4th lines as interchangable...and we all know that Hitch isn't afraid to juggle his lineup when things aren't going the Jackets way.

For me this key is the top 6 and the bottom 6 and barring any unforseen additions I think those groups of players are what we are looking at come camp in some combination. I wouldn't rule out Dorsett sticking with the squad though - I think the organization loves his gritty game.