As expected, the Flyers announced Thursday that they will buy out the final year of R.J. Umberger's contract.

Umberger, 34, had two unproductive years after returning for his second stint with the Flyers. This past season, he was a healthy scratch in 23 of the last 24 games, playing only in the meaningless season finale against the Islanders.

The veteran winger had a $4.6 million cap hit for 2016-17. Because of the buyout formula, the Flyers will have a $3 million cap-hit savings on his contract this season.

The Flyers will absorb a $1.6 million cap hit for Umberger this season; they will also be saddled with a $1.5 million cap hit in 2017-18.

Acquiring Umberger and a fourth-round pick from Columbus for Scott Hartnell was the first deal made by general manager Ron Hextall. Hartnell ($4.75 million annual cap hit) still has three years left on his pact.

In the two seasons since the deal was made. Hartnell has a total of 51 goals and 109 points, while Umberger has 11 goals and 26 points.

On Thursday,  Hextall said he was "fine" with the deal because of the cap flexibility it has given the Flyers.

"There were two parts to the trade, essentially," Hextall said at a news conference at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. "The one was the [cap] space. I felt like two or three years from then it was going to be good for us, and I feel the same way now."

Umberger managed two goals and 11 points in 39 games last season.

"I know I can play a third-line role," Umberger said when the Flyers' season ended. "I know I can play a fourth-line role if a team wants me to do that. I know I can do it. No problem. I can accept it."

When you subtract Vinny Lecavalier's cap hit _ the Flyers had been splitting $4.5 million with the Kings _ the Orange and Black have about $58.7 million committed toward next season's cap, according to generalfanager.com.

The cap could go up to $73 million, which would leave the Flyers with about $14.3 million in cap space.

When you subtract the cap hits for Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov _ players who could  crack the lineup in October _ the Flyers would have about $12.5 million in cap room.

That's not much cap space when you consider the Flyers still hope to re-sign restricted free agents Brayden Schenn, Radko Gudas, Nick Cousins, and Brandon Manning.

They also will probably re-sign unrestricted free-agent Ryan White, and they will explore the free-agent market for a forward.

Winger Sam Gagner, another unrestricted free agent, played well at the end of the season but is not expected to re-sign with the Flyers

scarchidi@phillynews.com