Blog Entry

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:48 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 3:30 pm
The Jackets might move Carter, but can they? (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

There's no time quite like the present. Isn't that what they say?

The present now just happens to be trade deadline month in the NHL. The actual day isn't for another few weeks, Feb. 27, but the whole month will be full of he said/she said, rumors that make you say hmm and others that make you say huh?

It seems like it's been a while since there were some real blockbuster deals looming in the NHL. It's not often there are teams willing to move the big names, the star players. That doesn't mean there weren't some key trades made, evident after the fact. In all, there were four players traded last February that were in the All-Star Game this season -- Joffrey Lupul to the Maple Leafs, Brian Elliott to the Avalanche, James Neal to the Penguins and Dennis Wideman to the Capitals.

There were certainly other moves that were crucial too. Just look at what the Bruins did, acquiring Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley last February, all important to their run to the Stanley Cup last season and in the case of Kelly and Peverley, the Bruins' push this season.

But none of those really stole the show. Not the way this year has the potential to. Or at least had until recently.

A little more than a week ago it looked like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Tim Gleason and maybe even Shane Doan were possible targets to move. Circumstances have changed or the teams have reaffirmed those guys aren't on the move.

Because of parity across the league partly as a byproduct of the points system in place today, there are a lot less sellers. Despite the odds of teams being five or more points back making the playoffs being long, clubs often times refuse to give in and admit they should reshuffle their organization.

It ends up with teams that should be looking to add, teams that shouldn't be looking to do anything and some teams that should probably be looking to sell all thinking the same: Let's add.

"Right now there are different teams trying to make a trade, but the problem is there are only two or three teams that are even willing to make a trade for a draft choice or prospect, meaning they don't think they are going to make the playoffs," Nashville GM David Poile told "What I want now versus what I can later are two different things because of the parity you have in the NHL.

More Trade deadline

One team that is painfully aware it doesn't stand a shot this season is the Columbus Blue Jackets. They are 11 points out ... of 29th place in the league. It's 23 points to the eighth seed in the West. After an offseason that saw them acquire Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski, that's a horrible disappointment. You know what that means ...

Yes, the Jackets will be sellers. And, even though they acquired him just seven months ago, all indications are that they would like to part ways with Carter. It's really been a wash of a season for him, fighting through injuries but still only scoring 10 goals with seven assists in 30 games.

“There’s talk about a lot of guys [in here] right now. Our team, with the way the season has gone -- the injuries, the standings, and stuff -- I don’t think it should come as a surprise to anybody on our team if they end up [in rumors],” Carter told the Columbus Dispatch.

The massive hurdle with Carter is figuring out how movable he is. His contract runs through the 2021-22 season with an annual cap hit of $5,272,727 (courtesy of Cap Geek). For a player that's been snake-bitten by injuries this season and hasn't seemed to want to be where he is at all this season, that becomes a tough sell, especially when you consider what the Jackets will want in return. They need everything, but primary concerns are in net and getting better on the blue line.

Still, he's only 27 and has shown with his time in Philadelphia that he can contribute a lot offensively. This will be the first season since 06-07 he didn't score at least 29 goals and more than 50 points. There could be some GMs out there willing to take the risks for the potential, which is still high.

If it does happen, it will be a not-so classic case of buy high, sell low for Columbus -- granted, low with Carter is probably still kind of high. That's not the best way to move on up in the world.

A good chunk of the rest of the Columbus roster will be available if anybody wants to take a shot, too. They'd probably love to move Steve Mason, but it's tough to envision anybody wanting him at this point. Rick Nash and Wisniewski are probably untouchables, Nash being the heart and soul of the otherwise faceless franchise and Wisniewski being the biggest player at their position of need. But the other guys like Antoine Vermette, Vaclav Prospal and more? Take your best shot.

The Blue Jackets aren't the only team known to be exploring the market. Tuomo Ruutu is a hot candidate to be moved from Carolina with the Hurricanes last in the East.

"I've heard rumors I'm going to every team in the NHL," Ruutu told Chip Patterson of the News & Observer this week. "I must be really playing well."

Obviously Ruutu isn't going to get people's gears going, but he could be a good addition for somebody, assuming the price is right. It's unlikely he's going to give any team top-six production, but he's not worthless either. One of the concerns is that he becomes a UFA this offseason, so it could be a rental situation.

The potential is endless, though. The Canucks have some expendables in their quest to bolster the roster for this year's push. Mason Raymond is a target of many. Some still think they should move Cory Schneider, perhaps the hottest backup goalie in the league. The Stars have to decide what side they're on, and if it's the seller side, Brenden Morrow could be up for grabs. The Canadiens have Travis Moen, Hal Gill and Chris Campoli. The Oilers could move Ryan Smyth again. It goes on and on.

Of course we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brian Burke always seems to find a way to get in the big trade action.

But it will probably all come back to the biggest, most obvious seller of them all in Columbus.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: February 4, 2012 12:38 am

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

LOL.... Bruins would take Crosby.  They have a good history of concussed, young players who signed big deals.  I could see Ovi go for 3 1st rounders.  As a Rangers fan i'd like to see some scoring added.  Staal is close to 100% so an Eminger or dare I say MacDonaugh coupled with Wolski and his cap hit should be close money to Carters deal.  Then they could have 18yrs locked up in 2  Stralman has been playing very well lately too and with Valentenko and McIllrath coming up next year, someones gonna have to go.  I could see Sather looking at Smyth because of the style of play, but I think the Oilers would ask for Dubinsky and I would hate to see him go.  It would have the '94 Messier feel to it though.  I think Parise stays because Brodeur is gonna retire.  Stars will probably push for Raymond and I think Burke sucks Suter out of Nashville for a lesser Schenn and Kadri or maybe Aulie.  Komiserek if it's working in Burkes  As for the debate on the best team in the league... GO RANGERS!

Since: Mar 12, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:07 pm

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

Word on the street is that a Crosby for Nash trade is in the works...

Crosby is too Young. I can't believe he's Stills on the trade block.

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:12 pm

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

Enough about this guy ... he has talent ... but is coming off injured reserve and asks $7 million. The Jackets need a goalie ... the Canucks need a physical talent at centre. No, i'm not suggesting Schneider or Carter ... how about Luongo, Raymond, and Salo for NASH & 2,3, draft pick? HELLO STANLEY!

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2012 6:19 pm

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

You have to think that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets would make fantastic trade partners for a blockbuster to move Jeff Carter to the Pens.  (Do some research, folks. is one of the best sites out there!)

It's amazing to me that on the entire Penguin roster, they only have Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz signed beyond 2013.  That whole roster could be dumped in a heartbeat because it's halfway out the door already.  Regardless of what the Pens think about Crosby's rehab and pending return, he's not even signed past 2013.  They could gut that roster and send Columbus some major cap relief in expiring contracts and begin a monster rebuilding process with Carter.  When you realize that Fleury is signed to mind the net in Pittsburgh through 2015, you understand this is not a team planning on going back to winning 20 games a season while a rebuild is going on.

Start the talk of Carter to the Pens ASAP.  I'd be shocked if Pittsburgh wasn't at the front of the line to work a trade. 

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:01 pm

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

Carter to the Pens = Pens Win Fourth Cup

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2012 1:04 pm

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

It will be really interesting to see what the rangers do.  They've obviously been great so far this season, but they have to have some pretty serious concerns about their awful power play and really, their ability to score goals in general.  With that being said, as a rangers fan, this is the first time in a long time i've seen them play with a really good team dynamic.  It will be really interesting to see if they would be willing to trade relatively young guys like dubinsky, anisimov, or mitchell for a big offensive uprade, possibly at the expense of that team chemistry.

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:37 pm

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

Good luck moving Carter - with 9 years and $50 million or so left on his deal, I would be surprised to see him moved for anything of value. Besides, Columbus needs to win ASAP so dumping him for prospects doesn't sell tickets or make them more competitve now. How many high draft picks and "top" prospects can you have? They have missed on most of them and that is why they overpaid this year for Wisniewski & Carter. Overpaying is the only way any player is coming to Columbus and they should fire their GM first and then try to build around Carter, Nash, & Co. They have so many holes to fill that only the front office is to blame. One or two players don't make a team but a series of weak drafts & weak moves can make a team bad.  

Since: Jun 20, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:02 pm

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

Word on the street is that the "Crosby is being traded for Nash" fan is a freaking idiot, who did you hear that from?  A crackhead in an alley who needed a dollar?  Next up we'll hear someone say Ovechkin is going to be traded, then Malkin, then Corey Perry...  You don't trade the cornerstone of your franchise when he has the ability to be the best player in the world, and believing something like that might happen is just stupid...

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:32 am

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

There's no way Pittsburgh trades Crosby right now (or even dangles him out there to see what he might be worth). As the author noted about another trade, it'd be a case of Buy High, Sell Low. Until he proves his ability to get back out on the ice there is no team in the league willing to part with anything approaching fair value. The Pens would have traded the face of their franchise and a Top 5 players for a spare goalie and a bucket of pucks. The PR hit alone would set the franchise back a decade, even if he never played another shift. And it would be even worse should Sid get back on the ice and make an impact elsewhere. I know Pens fans are frustrated with his progress (or lack thereof). But until the Penguins HAVE to make a decision (IE he's going to be a free agent the following summer and still showing no signs of medical progress), there's no reason for them to act prematurely.

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:07 am

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

Word on the street is that a Crosby for Nash trade is in the works...

Crosby is untradeable because of his injury history! No team will take a chance on him at this point in his career!  

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