Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger has declined an invitation to play for Team USA in the IIHF world championship (May 7-23).

Instead, he will attend two classes at Ohio State this spring. He is hoping to earn his degree in business marketing by next summer, he said. He had hoped to take the classes and find several weeks to participate in the tournament in Germany. The schedule simply didn’t work, he said

Umberger was left off the Team USA club that earned an Olympic silver medal in February. Is he worried that some might interpret his decision as a payback for not getting named to the Olympic team?

“I can’t control what people think,” Umberger said in a text message. “My degree is important to me and not making the playoffs gave me a rare opportunity to take extra classes and get my degree in reach.”

— Tom Reed