Report: Blue Jackets could use buyout on Umberger if trade partner can't be found

Jun 18, 9:12 AM

The Columbus Blue Jackets are actively shopping forward R.J. Umberger, who gave the team a list of ten teams to which he would not approve a deal, according to a limited no-trade clause in his contract.

According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets are seeking a roster player or a draft pick in return, but "the sense around the NHL is that (general manager Jarmo) Kekalainen's cell phone is showing more outgoing calls than incoming calls these days."

As a result, the team may consider using a compliance buyout on Umberger's contract if he is not traded prior to June 30, a move explained below by Portzline:

This type of buyout -- different from traditional buyouts -- does not count against a team's salary cap, but the player still gets (in Umberger's case) two-thirds of his remaining money, split over two seasons for each remaining year on the contract.

Umberger is due $4.6 million for the next three seasons. It would cost the Blue Jackets $1.55 million for the next six years. It wouldn't be off the books until 2020.

A small market team like Columbus would certainly hope to avoid this route, meaning Kekalainen and Co. will do all they can to move Umberger prior to the NHL Draft on June 27.