10 Questions with ... RJ Umberger

Ohio State product will be back in Columbus come September

Tuesday, 07.29.2008 / 3:05 PM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

For the third time this summer, we sit down with one of the new faces on the Blue Jackets. Recently, we talked with forward RJ Umberger about beginning a new chapter in his career in Columbus.


BlueJackets.com: What were your first impressions after being acquired by Columbus?

RJ: I was shocked at first, you know, being traded. This is where it is, this is a city I know and I've been here before. It's kind of like a homecoming for me; I'm looking forward to it.


BlueJackets.com: Are you excited to be here in Columbus?

RJ: I am excited. I want to come back, get ready and get settled in. This process seems like it takes so long sometimes, but I'm really looking forward to now and the next four years. It's going to be a lot of fun.


BlueJackets.com: What did you know about Columbus before being traded?

RJ: (Laughs) I knew a little bit. Obviously, I went to school here, so the big thing is Ohio State football. It's a big deal in this town. Ohio State is a passion around here, no doubt, but I feel like I know the city pretty well.


BlueJackets.com: How would your teammates describe your personality?

RJ: I think on the ice, I'm a hard-working guy who's not afraid to play hard and get in people's faces and add some skill, too. That's pretty much my game. Off the ice, I'm a pretty laid-back guy. I can be pretty competitive, and I can be quiet at times but I think I'm a guy who just leads by example.


BlueJackets.com: What's your favorite NHL arena to play in?

RJ: Probably Pittsburgh (Mellon Arena), playing in front of my family and friends. It's not the nicest building, but it's always fun to go there because it's home.

(Umberger pictured to the right in the 2008 playoffs playing at his favorite arena - click the image to view Mark Wyant's interview with RJ).


BlueJackets.com: Describe your style of play.

RJ: Well, I'm a bigger guy that likes to play hard and has decent speed. I see the ice pretty well, and I like to produce a lot of offense and set my linemates up.


BlueJackets.com: When (and how) did you start playing hockey?

RJ: I was maybe six years old…going on seven. I started watching Mario Lemieux and the Penguins and then I got into skating. My parents took me to a local rink so I could skate for the first time, and I fell in love with it. I really started playing hockey when I was seven.


BlueJackets.com: What are your hobbies, etc. during the off-season?

RJ: I like to golf a lot, and work out a lot. I spend a lot of time with my dogs, I have two golden retrievers and I love to spend time with them when I'm home. Aside from that, I probably watch too much TV.


BlueJackets.com: Which current Blue Jackets are you most looking forward to playing with in Columbus?

RJ: Probably Rick Nash. I want the opportunity to play with him and see if some chemistry develops, and see what we can do. He's a great player and great goal-scorer, so it should be fun.


BlueJackets.com: Do you prefer dinner on the town or staying in?

RJ: I like to cook on the grill, and I like learning how to cook. I've only cooked a little bit. I don't mind going out to eat, either. If I had a choice, I would probably have a home-cooked meal on the grill.


Thanks RJ and welcome back to Columbus!




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


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