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Carter To Columbus Talk

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,

Talks have simmered between Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren for more than six months now—they last chatted at the NHL scouting combine two weeks ago—and a Bryzgalov signing could be the trigger.

Sources have indicated to The Dispatch that the Blue Jackets would trade a roster player, quite possibly winger Jake Voracek, and their first-round pick (No. 8 overall), to the Flyers for veteran center Jeff Carter.

Carter is signed through the 2020-21 season at $5.27 million per season according to capgeek.com. Of those two numbers, it’s the term—11 more seasons—that would scare off some clubs, but the Blue Jackets have reached a point where they need to start taking measured risks.

He’s a proven top-six center, which remains a roster need. He’s a proven scorer, with 115 goals the last three seasons. At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds Carter could give the Blue Jackets a formidable 1-2 punch with captain Rick Nash, which they’re currently missing. He is a player who has gone where few in the Blue Jackets dressing room have ventured—deep in the Stanley Cup playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+carter


Evilpens's avatar

this is the best place to ask this, But why in the Hell would BJ’s Trade Voracek & the 8th Pick for Carter who isn’t a set up C that Nash needs & they STILL desperately need a Offensive D Man

Posted by Evilpens on 06/10/11 at 12:26 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It would be a splash signing and a desperate attempt for Columbus to try to “prove” to their fans that they actually are interested in trying to make the playoffs again (regardless of whether making this trade would really make that more likely). 

I don’t want to speak for all hockey fans in Columbus, but I get the feeling that a lot of them feel betrayed by the organization who finally made the playoffs in 2008, got swept out of the first round and then spent the next two seasons getting worse instead of better.  This may be an issue of trying to woo them back.

However, for a team that claims to have lost $25M and struggles to spend up to the floor, it’s probably not the best financial decision to trade for a contract that’s going to pay the player an average of $6.6 million per season over the next seven seasons before his actual salary drops below his cap hit. 

Unless the new CBA coming out next year is going to fix things, the teams that struggle to spend to the cap floor are costing themselves extra money by taking contracts where the pay exceeds the cap hit.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/10/11 at 12:36 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Jesus even EvilPens and I agree on this.  D-MAN.  No center in the game is going to help your miserable d corps that can’t skate or move the puck.  It’s the West, not the East where forwards rule and sketchy d corps can get by.


Posted by Primis on 06/10/11 at 12:43 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

It’s the West, not the East where forwards rule and sketchy d corps can get by.
Posted by Primis on 06/10/11 at 10:43 AM ET

They won’t need a puck moving D-man because next year (2012-13) they will be in the east.

Posted by SnLO from the Northern Guard on 06/10/11 at 12:55 PM ET


This is another piece of speculation from The Dispatch.  They write gossip like this and Kevin Dineen being named head coach, of trades that never happen, of free agents that never consider Columbus.  The team has SERIOUS financial issues that preclude any high-priced player moves.  The fans are tired of both the team failing to show progress and the local media that prints junk like this. 

It’s sad that you have a team that squandered its chances and support like the Jackets have.  The fans and media gave Doug MacLean far too much time before they got wise to him and now they are being impatient with Scott Howson.

Posted by Truth Serum on 06/10/11 at 12:59 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Yeah, the BJ’s need a C, but not that center.  They need someone to setup Nash, but Carter is a goal scorer, not a playmaker.  To me, this would be akin to Calgary getting Jokinen to play with Iginla, which didn’t work either.  There’s typically not enough puck to go around when you have 2 top goal scorers on the same line.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 06/10/11 at 01:15 PM ET


Brassard is theoretically a set-up guy, Johansen is theoretically a set-up guy, Vermette is a 2-way guy, and Pahlsson is a checking guy.  They do not have a center like Jeff Carter a 2-way guy with scoring pop.

Their D does suck.  But Savard and Moore are close-ish, Methot and Clitsome belong, and they can take a run at Kaberle.  Cheap cap-hit, proven top two line centers don’t come around too often in the NHL and would leave them some room to take a run at a 1st pairing d-man.

Posted by VandyBuck on 06/10/11 at 01:45 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Cheap cap-hit, proven top two line centers don’t come around too often in the NHL and would leave them some room to take a run at a 1st pairing d-man.

Posted by VandyBuck on 06/10/11 at 11:45 AM ET

Columbus’ problem isn’t cap space.  They finished last year with about $8M in cap space.  Since they’re a revenue-sharing club and are financially enticed to subscribe to the unofficial “poor team’s cap” of $8M below the salary cap, this will not leave them a lot of room to take a run at a 1st-pairing D-man.

I mean, let’s do the math.  Is Columbus one scoring center and one puck-moving defenseman away from making a serious run past the 2nd round?  Because spending over the midpoint is going to cost them not only the salaries (which is a double-whammy in Carter’s case, since he’s going to be paid $800k more than his cap hit this year and see his costs increase for a while), but also cost them the revenue-sharing dollars. 

All told, if Columbus trades for Carter and signs a $6M defenseman, they’re not only going to cost themselves those $6M in real money, but also about another $4M in guaranteed revenue-sharing dollars.  Add that to the fact that they’ll likely need to draw way more people with a team that’s probably not going to be much of a contender in the still very-strong Central division and they have to turn their attendance woes around while playing something along the lines of 10 home playoff games (meaning at least getting to the conference finals) just to break even on this deal.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/10/11 at 02:08 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

It’s interesting to note that Nationwide Arena day-to-day operations are now ran by Ohio State University (as of 2010). If Ohio State’s hockey teams could play at Nationwide (forgive me I forget, I know the rinks are the same size as NHL rinks, but do college rinks use the blasted trapezoid?), that will go some way into relieving the amount of cash the BJ’s put forward to run Nationwide.

None of this matters much when it comes to icing a team and a staff dedicated to winning and getting past the first round in the spring…unless that money saved is poured right back into bringing in talent.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/10/11 at 02:12 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

And JJ just destroyed my post before I even posted it….moving on.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/10/11 at 02:13 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

a) Columbus spent 55mil last season, they don’t struggle to spend to the cap.  They just give lots of money to shit people like Commodore.

b) They have ONE scoring threat.  Pretty easy to stop a team from scoring when you just have to worry about one guy.  Carter opens up options and alleviates stress, the same way the Wings do with Pav and Hank, 1,2 punch

c) Russle’s a puck moving defenseman, Tyutin is a puck moving defenseman.  Not saying they dont’ have glaring deficiencies but the Commodore situation is what really screwed the pooch.  They’ll definitely need another legit defenseman, either stay at home or puck mover.  Columbus pipeline is FULL of defensive prospects.  They don’t know how to develop a prospect to save their life but they have a bunch of them.

The reality is they are mentally weak from Howson to Nash.  I always tell my buddy Nash reminds of Joe Thornton in terms of “maybe he’s too laid back to motivate the team to success” and Howson has been beaten into submission by Priest.  He’s got to take all ideas he wants to consider before the president and the owners to make sure it’s worth persuing.  Can you imagine Kenny having to call Illitch before he wants to do something?  Makes you wonder why they even bothered to waste the salary on a GM, just let Priest be president AND GM or just let the owners be president and GM then you save 2 salaries.

Jackets were competative at the beginning of last season but once they hit a rut they wallow instead of get out of it.  We tried to bring fire in the room with R.J. but that only gets you so far, now we need another scoring option, plain and simple.  Nash is talented as hell, he doesn’t need a set-up guy to score goals.  He does need some breathing room though and the addition of Carter would give him plenty of that.  Might even convince Upshall to stick around if they get Carter

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/10/11 at 02:14 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

JJ I can tell you first hand, if they bring in carter, the fans will come back.  Columbus fans are actually pretty passionate and the place rocks when the jackets are winning.. but the fans are seriously tired of losing.  Tired of missed opportunities (Jackets passed on St. Louis in the expansion draft in 2000, taking Klesla instead I’m pretty sure, also passed on Getzlaf amoung others to take Zerdev) tired of depth signing of players past their prime with no real help to the real problem which is secondary scoring (how do you have depth players but they don’t score.. not really depth is it)

I can see why Mason went down, rookie had the weight of a city and 8 years of losing on his shoulders just because he played well 1 year.  With no support, worse D the next year, the club expected to ride him to success for a discount. (discount being they dont’ have to do anything else, just give him a bump in pay and he’ll be the playoff pony, hauling the team in every year)  I know I’d personally hate knowing at the start of every game that if I let one get by me, we’re gonna lose.. we’re MOST LIKELY going to lose.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/10/11 at 02:22 PM ET


“It’s interesting to note that Nationwide Arena day-to-day operations are now ran by Ohio State University (as of 2010). If Ohio State’s hockey teams could play at Nationwide (forgive me I forget, I know the rinks are the same size as NHL rinks, but do college rinks use the blasted trapezoid?), that will go some way into relieving the amount of cash the BJ’s put forward to run Nationwide.”

OSU is selling Nationwide and Schottenstein for concerts and events.  OSU has the same size arena as Nationwide, so they are unlikely to play games elsewhere.  But this deal is supposed to prevent OSU and Nationwide from competing for the same concert and lowballing each other.  In theory, that is.

The problem for the CBJ is that they have a lease with Nationwide that prevents them from selling naming rights, earning parking lot revenue, and other standard revenue producing items.  It has been reported that even if the team sold out every game and made it past the first round of the playoffs, they would still lose $millions.  There is no way around it under the current agreement.

Posted by Truth Serum on 06/10/11 at 02:26 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s possible that the fans would come back.  Bringing in Carter and increasing spending wouldn’t hurt Columbus as a hockey team and it certainly wouldn’t hurt attendance.  The issue is that it takes a big risk about whether it will help attendance enough to the point where the Jackets can avoid losing more money.

Personally, I’m not very emotionally invested in the financial health of the Blue Jacket’s ownership, I’m more worried about watching good hockey.  I’d approve of them making moves to make themselves a better team, I just don’t see that they would do it.

I certainly wouldn’t call the Blue Jackets stupid for taking a risk to become a better team.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/10/11 at 02:32 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

John W. exactly Carter is a Sniper Not a set up guy

HockeytownOverhaul I don’t want to disagree with you, as you see them a lot more than me But why were they in the running to trade for Gologoski then if they Have Offensive D Man

Posted by Evilpens on 06/10/11 at 02:32 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Evilpens, because they have a gaping hole left on their D from having to bury Commodore in the minors and the fact this years D UFA’s are slim pickings and they need another 1/2 guy.  Tyutin has been incredible with the Jackets and kinda taken over that top spot but he needs some relief as well.  They tried to plug some holes with Strahlman but he’s ALL offense (and he’s no Kronwall offensively) who makes horrendous defensive mistakes, which pretty much sums up what the jackets know about developing prospects, specifically defenseman.

They got Jon Moore year before last.  Was supposed to be a stud according to hockey analysts.  Think he was -50something this year in the minors.  Klesla never panned out either and he was their other OffDefenseman.

Golo is a blue-chip defenseman and the stars made a VERY smart move if you look at FA this year.  They got the one thing that is in high-demand this offseason.

Like I said, they’re definitely going to need one now that commie didn’t pan out and they traded klesla, but they still have the tools to be successful on D IF IF IF they bring in the right fit for it in the off-season but it doesn’t need to be a number 1 guy.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/10/11 at 02:51 PM ET


Columbus needs help at all positions. It doesn’t make sense to squabble over whether they should plug one gaping hole one of the other gaping holes: they have to start somewhere.

Having said that, I don’t think Carter, specifically, helps at all.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/10/11 at 03:27 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

who does then Stevie?  Cap world limits options significantly, look at what’s all available and what the real issues have been over the past 9 seasons.  Goaltending and scoring.  Mason is a known quantity, he can be stellar.  So I would think that support is what he needs.  Cbus already plays a more defensive type system (even Nash goes down to block shots) but find it hard to rally when they’ve fallen behind and the other team starts trapping.  Which leads me to another offensive weapon to alleviate attention and pressure from Nash.  YOu can even keep Brass ont he top line, I don’t care. but having another person you have to respect opens up line-matches and coverage in the offensive zone as well.  I say Carter’s the BEST fit out there.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/10/11 at 03:32 PM ET


JJ - they’re a partial revenue sharing club.  They got dinged 25% this season.  The team has no scorers.  It might not matter if he fits with Nash or not.  If he can score, the Jackets need him.

Posted by VandyBuck on 06/10/11 at 04:14 PM ET


I think they need a rebuild, to be honest, with an emphasis on scouting, drafting and development. They’ve had waaaaay too many high-end picks that busted or didn’t become contributors until they shipped them off to better organizations for bags of pucks.

Also, too much money invested in the wrong types of guys (Vermette, Huselius). Carter’s another disinterested floater like them. In terms of making things happen when it counts, he was far less important to Philadelphia than about 4 other forwards (Briere, Giroux, Richards, JVR). Columbus won’t improve by adding a guy like that for the next 12 years.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/10/11 at 04:42 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

There’s absolutely NO WAY the Jackets can survive a rebuild.  The fans WILL NOT keep supporting the team.  Columbus is a breathe away from being in the same conversation as Phoenix, a rebuild is not in the future.  They need to generate fan interest since they squandered all the natural interest that was here.

That’s a HUGE part of the equation and why Howson has said he’s going to move the 8th overall pick for help right now.  In a perfect world you’re right stevie, but you have to take into account a full decade of losing a full decade of not making the playoffs except once and got swept, the team has NEVER WON A PLAYOFF GAME.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/10/11 at 04:49 PM ET


Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/10/11 at 02:49 PM ET

I understand if a rebuild is impossible from a business/attendance standpoint. That may be the reality. However, I just don’t see any way to make Columbus a legit competitor with the group they have and the money allocated the way it is. This playoff push sounds an awful lot like the one that cost another flawed group in Atlanta 2 1st rounders and Braydon Coburn to buy a playoff sweep against.

From a hockey standpoint, Columbus needs to be hoarding #8 picks and signing over-the-hill mentors for their Jakub Voraceks (Bill Guerin, Igor Larionov types), not trading them for skilled loafers like Jeff Carter. If that’s impossible, Columbus is not in a good spot.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/10/11 at 07:20 PM ET


stevie…been there, done that (see, Clark, Chris and Moreau, Ethan).  They pick #8 every year.  That ain’t working either.

Posted by VandyBuck on 06/10/11 at 10:08 PM ET

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