Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson confirmed last night that forward R..J. Umberger has requested a trade, but said a move would only be made this summer if it strengthens the Blue Jackets' roster. Davidson made his comments on 10TV's Wall to Wall Sports. The story of Umberger's trade request was published in Sunday's editions of the Columbus Dispatch. "We don’t get into speculation regarding trades, but I do know this much – when we run a professional sports organization, and you have to look at improving your club – you’re going to look to do anything you possibly can to improve your club," Davidson said. "If it means moving somebody out, somebody on (to a different team) you do that. "If a player talks to you as an organization that he needs a change of scenery, you try to help him and you try to do the right thing. We’ve appreciated what R.J. has done for us, but it has to be something that makes sense for our club." Umberger was made a healthy scratch four times late this season by coach Todd Richards as the Blue Jackets were trying to hammer down a playoff spot. With Richards likely to sign a long-term extension with the Blue Jackets this summer, and with a wave of younger players taking over the team, Umberger has decided his future would be better served by leaving Columbus, sources told The Dispatch. Umberger has a full no-trade clause in his contract as of today. But on June 15, it becomes a limited no-trade. On that date, the club can request from Umberger a list of up to 10 teams to which he would not accept a trade. That leaves 19 teams as an option to absorb Umberger's $4.6 million salary cap hit through 2016-17. Although, if Umberger is desperate to leave the Blue Jackets -- and the bold move of requesting a trade could be seen as a desperate act -- the list of teams to which he wouldn't agree to be traded could be shorter than 10. The Blue Jackets could have a fairly active summer. They want to get faster, leaner and meaner.
Davidson Confirms Umberger Trade Request
Columbus Dispatch | May 20