The Columbus Blue Jackets made a trade today involving RJ Umberger. Yes, the player who was routinely a late season scratch this past season. No, they didn’t have to retain any salary. Did they get themselves a player that was any good? That answer seems to be a resounding yes.
Taking a quick look at the numbers it really is no contest overall. Umberger played shorthanded time while Hartnell did not but that is really the only advantage that comes to mind when looking at this trade from the Flyers’ side. Meanwhile on the Blue Jackets’ side they get a player who had a shooting percentage four points lower then Umberger and still outperformed him in goals. Hartnell has a significantly better Corsi percentage while playing against similar competition and similar quality of teammates. The only concerning factor when comparing the two is Hartnell took a significant portion of his zone starts in the offensive zone. Nonetheless its tough looking at the underlying stats and not being thoroughly excited about a player of his caliber coming to Columbus.
You could land a 737 in the territorial gap between Umberger/Hartnell for most of the last three seasons. pic.twitter.com/uyLSlCi7fY
— Travis Yost (@TravisHeHateMe) June 23, 2014
Here's fun: Umberger 5v5 pts/60 w/ Joey: 1.33. Without: 0.96. Hartnell 5v5 pts/60 w/ Giroux: 1.76. Without: 1.79. I'll take that! #CBJ
— Jeremy (@307x) June 23, 2014
It should be noted as well that a fourth rounder is going to Philly, a middle of the draft pick which has less than 15% of a chance to make it to the NHL. It will be interesting to see how Hartnell and Umberger will each be used going forward. Hartnell played mostly on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, while Umberger saw most of his season with Foligno and Anisimov. If the Flyers are expecting Umberger to take his spot in the line up they would be sorely mistaken. Which begs the question, are more moves coming in Philly? Hard to say at the moment but with this move the offseason is definitively under way.