Trade Winds: Jeff Carter

No Trade Clause No More...

Jeff Carter has been the hottest topic of conversation in the NHL the last few weeks.  The speculation surrounding Columbus is that General Manager Scott Howson is very much open to making enormous and sweeping changes in the organization.  It sounds like he would like to retain his long time captain, Rick Nash, but he did not sugar coat the reality that Jeff Carter is available for a trade.

I don’t think it’s really necessary to talk about the reasons that Carter may be available.  They are pretty obvious at this point.  The Jackets are dead last by a country mile and their organization is veering dangerously close to being an embarassment.  With a massive payroll not living up to expectations, changes must be made.

Moreover, ever since the trade to Columbus, rumors have hinted that Carter was unhappy with Paul Holmgren’s decision to blindside him with the move.  With Eric Francis reporting Saturday night on CBC’s Hot Stove segment that the trade nullified Carter’s agreed upon No Trade Clause, who can blame him?

Carter essentially agreed to be a Flyer for 11 years.  and even negotiated for the right to veto trades away from Philadelphia.  He wanted to be part of the organization, and as silly as it sounds to say about an athlete who makes over five million dollars per season, he took a paycut to make that arrangement feasible for Flyer management.  Before the contract could kick-in however, Holmgren dealt his star center to one of the worst managed clubs in the league.

So How Much Will He Cost?

Carter was worth Voracek and a 1st round pick (7th overall) last summer.  Since then, one has to assume that his value has dropped a little bit.  His numbers are down and he’s piled up some injuries that make the 10 years reamining on his contract seem a lot more risky than they did when Columbus acquired him.  Basically, the Jackets are probably looking to minimize the damage of the trade and get a couple good young assets back in return.

And Where Will He End Up?

Most every team in the league would love to add a 30-40 goal scorer (assuming Carter can get his numbers back to normal on a more competitive club).  That said, lots of teams cannot afford to add another big cap hit to already crowded rosters.  Others cannot afford the financial commitment that Carter’s 58 million dollar deal entails.  So without further ado, the following are the five teams I believe to be most likely to attempt to acquire the services of Jeff Carter:

(5) Montreal Canadiens

There’s a lot of chatter about the Canadiens wanting to finally rectify their longstanding lack of a true number one center with size and scoring ability.  With the team now in dead last in the Eastern Conference, it seems like a move of this magnitude is long overdue.  However, the Habs aren’t exactly teeming with top quality assets to offer up in high profile trades.  This might be a trade they’d be more comfortable making a year from now, after clearing out some of the excess baggage they’re carrying (ie. Gomez).

Best Offer: Yannick Weber, 1st round pick (likely to be a lottery area selection)

(4) Calgary Flames

It’s pretty clear that Jay Feaster has been sincere about his lack of desire to rebuild the Flames despite their blatant mediocrity.  He seems determined to surround Iginla with the pieces necessary to try and win now, most recently evidenced by the acquisition of Mike Cammalleri.  At this point, he might as well go all in and try to acquire a young center like Carter as well.  If he could get that deal done, it would give the Flames a star to build around long after Iginla has retired.   They may have to give up high end draft picks, which will upset fans, but to be fair, it’s not like the organization has made any use of draft picks  in the last decade anyways.

Best Offer: Michael Backlund, Sven Bartschi, 1st round pick (may require Jackets to take salary back)

(3) Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs would love to solve their top center issue once and for all.  While Tyler Bozak and Mikhail Grabovski have out-performed a lot of more expensive, bigger center duos, there’s no doubt that long term Brian Burke will want a Getzlaf-ian style of player in his top pivot position.  Carter could be that guy.  He is a good friend of Joffrey Lupul, and the two have played together before.  Still, Burke is not a huge fan of those long contracts.  It seems like Burke would be unlikely to break the bank for Carter, and could be easily outbid if it comes to that.  It’s not even a certainty that Burke would part with any top prospects like Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne.  Regardless, with the trades Burke has pulled off the last couple years though, you can’t really count the Leafs out.

Best Offer: Matthew Lombardi, Nazem Kadri, 1st/2nd round pick

(2) Winnipeg Jets

The talk around the Winnipeg Jets right now is that Kevin Chevyldayoff is happy to just stay the course, maybe shed some UFA salary (ie. Oduya), and reboot next year with guys like Kane and Burmistrov a year older, and maybe Schiefele in the line-up to bolster scoring.  While I agree that this is a sensible approach, the idea of Carter in Winnipeg has become perhaps a more realistic option of late.

Previously, Carter’s No Trade Clause was a huge obstacle for a small market team like WInnipeg.  If Carter isn’t happy in Columbus, how would he react to the icy climate Winnipeg has to offer?  I’m a Winnipegger, born and raised, but I can admit that it isn’t for everyone.  A lot of people will say that athletes shouldn’t complain with the money they’re making, but the fact is that his No Trade Clause did give him some say in where he plays.  With that out the window thanks to the shrewdness of Paul Holmgren, Carter is pretty much helpless to make decisions about what city he calls home.

The really intriguing thing about Carter to Winnipeg though, is how much sense the two teams make as trading partners.  Jackets fans are justifiably worried about the 1st overall pick they’re almost sure to receive at June’s Entry Draft.  The top two prospects are Russians, and the club has had enormously bad luck with high end Russian picks (Nikita Filatov and Nikolai Zherdev spring to mind).   Perhaps the Jackets would do well to insulate Russian sniper Nail Yakupov with a highly talented young countrymen like Alex Burmistrov.  I am sure Chevyldayoff is not anxious to deal Burmistrov, but a decade long solution to the #1 Center slot might be too tempting to turn down – especially if they could also move out some salary from the back-end.

Best Offer: Alex Burmistrov, Ron Hainsey, Patrice Cormier

(1) Los Angeles Kings

Probably the most likely destination for Carter is with the Kings alongside his good buddy Mike Richards.  The Kings lack scoring in a huge way.  They are dead last in the league in that category with only 115 goals scored.  Compare that to the 180 scored by the league leading Bruins, and the Kings are desperate for a guy like Carter.

Lucky for Dean Lombardi and the Kings, they happen to have some assets that might be highly interesting to the Jackets for their future.  The Jackets have seen enough of the Steve Mason experiment, and would probably love to see what Jonathan Bernier could do between their pipes.  A nice piece like Slava Voynov wouldn’t hurt either.

It seems like the Kings are ‘in on’ every big name player, but this seems like a deal they could actually get done.  Carter fits the salary structure Dean Lombardi has put in place as well.  Could be a great fit.

Best Offer: Dustin Penner, Jonathan Bernier, Slava Voynov

More ‘Trade Wind’ Articles:

Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter

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46 Responses to Trade Winds: Jeff Carter

  1. unclejakescards says:

    hmmm, first suter , then stewart, now carter …….. dam, if only burkie could pull arabbit outta his ass and get all 3 . BOOM !! STANLEY CUP CONTENDER !!!!!

    • 4evrblue says:

      Lol doesn’t hurt to dream, i’d settle for either one of the forwards right now, I like our blueline as is (Komi and all)
      .
      Great write up Cam

  2. 4evrblue says:

    Anthony Stewart and Zach Hamill on waivers today. Both could be decent pickups although i’m not sure either would be a great fit.
    .
    Thoughts?

    • I really don’t think the Leafs would claim anyone when they don’t even have room for their own guys on the current roster. Claiming Stewart would mean demoting Boyce. Even if Stewart is an upgrade, it’s such a marginal one, it’s not worth it from the perspective of a “player’s GM”.

      • 4evrblue says:

        Stewart is intriguing because of his size, cheap price and potential to score 25-35pts if he found chemistry within the lineup. Also would make sense if we traded Lombardi for picks, he could slot in on the 4th line while Army moves to the 3rd. In turn it wouldn’t force managements hand to bring up a guy like Kadri that might not be quite ready. Wouldn’t be disappointed if no claim was put in though as i’m starting to warm up to having Lombo in the lineup. Tremendous speed and good PK abilities.

  3. Pier Martin says:

    Solid read! I think the Habs should definitely be looking to take him off the hands of Columbus. Would be a solid pickup, just not sure about the 1st round pick, I dont know if Carter is worth a top 5 pick at this stage.. Gamble but might be worth it in the long run!

  4. Good read Cam.

    Is Carter’s NTC/NMC (which ever it is) now not valid ever again during the term of that contract? I’ve never looked into that. I know there is something to it not being necessarily binding to the next team if waived or something along those lines.

  5. 4evrblue says:

    argh!!!!
    my thoughts on MLHS’ thread right now lol

  6. 4evrblue says:

    also Alec is there now, can’t imagine him appreciating it if we tried to draw ppl away from his site

    • True enough. That’s not really the intention though. Just providing an alternative.

      • 4evrblue says:

        True but would he see it that way? Could easily be frowned upon. Eventually guys will pop their heads in here though and as long as there is even moderate convo going on i’m sure they’ll keep coming back. In the meantime i’ll keep posting links of your articles like I did today lol

  7. 4evrblue says:

    Great game. Grabo and Kessel make for a great 1-2 punch.

  8. 4evrblue says:

    Real_ESPNLeBrun Pierre LeBrun
    Oilers say RNH aggravated shoulder injury and that’s why he left 3rd period as a precaution. Will be re-evaluated tomorrow
    .
    All the skill to play in the NHL but gotta wonder if his body will hold up to the grind.

    • He’ll probably be a little sturdier after a summer of working out with NHL trainers and the like, but yea, it’s looking like being 160 pounds in the NHL is a tough business nowadays…

      • 4evrblue says:

        definitely has to be hard on him. Tough situation for Edm management, obviously has NHL talent so he wouldn’t learn anything in Jr but if he doesn’t get ahead of the injuries……….. ??? So many people think it’s so cut and dry and I remember arguing that he was too small to be in the NHL but whoever I was arguing with didn’t get my point. He isn’t like Gerbe or St. Louis who are small but have a mans body and strength. He has a boys body with big league skill.

        • Yea. I still feel that way about Nazem Kadri. He’s starting to fill out now, but you get the sense that everything he’s achieved at every other level has been because of pure skill. Comparitively, you have guys like Colborne and Kassian where you wonder if it wasn’t just their towering size that made them such stand outs.

          • 4evrblue says:

            Kadri is a perfect example. Up until now he has just been too frail to make the cut and it’s only now at his age that he should finish filling out. I think I put on 30-40 pounds around the age of 22-23. Not an ounce of fat, I just grew into a mans body. Quite possible that that is what has happened to Schenn also. If so he now has to adjust.

  9. Ensign, might not take as much as you think to push those guys down the roster (Ladd, Little, etc…). Say that Carter trade I mention in the article were feasible, and Buff goes back to forward, where he should be. Next year:

    Kane / Carter / Wheeler
    ____ / Scheif / Byfuglien
    Ladd / Little / Antropov
    Glass / Slater / Thorburn

    Enstrom / Bogosian
    Stuart / _______
    ______ / _______

    Pavelc / Mason

    Leaves them with some holes to plug, but this team can score goals, which fits with what Noel is trying to do. Simple ‘D’, straight ahead forward attacks.

    • ensign79 says:

      Ya thats assuming the GM does anything.. all he does is grab off the waiver wire… he gets a semi free pass for the first year but IMO he’s missed opportunities this year given that some players are playing above their ability.

      • I don’t disagree, but care to elaborate? Who do you think he should have moved?

        • ensign79 says:

          Antropov for one… Stapleton isn’t a big piece goign forward but likely could of gotten a pick…Mason earlier in the year and Oduya.

          • ensign79 says:

            I’d also liek buff outta here personally.. he could get a return worth more to the team than he is.

            • I’d like to just see Byfuglien back at forward, and a couple veteran voices added to the room to put him in his place occassionally. Easier said than done, but Buff is an asset, he just needs to be tamed.

              • ensign79 says:

                I’ve never really liked him and he’s not near as good as he thinks he is.. and he’s way the hell overpaid. I’d like him gone. IF there are dressing room issue on this team (party, etc) then I’d bet he’s in the thick of it.

          • Antropov might still go, but, I’m not sure moving him really helps us. He’d likely fetch a 2nd round pick – which is great – but I think the fans want to see a good team in Winnipeg within the next 2-3 years, not 5-6.

            • ensign79 says:

              Thats true…which means the Jets better get their shit together and realized you have to get players through other means than the waiver wire.

              • ensign79 says:

                Also lets not forget, the Jets won’t spend to the cap.. so Buff’s salary takes up more room than it would on a cap team. He’s just not worth the money.

  10. I don’t think that Chipman would have any problem getting the money to ice a cap ceiling team if he felt we were heading in the right direction. So far, it seems money and all other issues are going better than expected with the team.

  11. ensign79 says:

    But he’s said the team won’t be a cap team already… I can’t see him spending that kind of money any time soon. Buff is better being shipped out by the deadline for a high return. He’s biggest value came from his playoffs when he won the cup. He’d be highly sought after by teams planning on making a run.