Like the Rick Nash rumor, the Jeff Carter rumor came up from a tweet stating that Columbus GM Scott Howson was in attendance at the previous two Rangers games. Carter, recently acquired by Columbus in exchange for Jakub Voracek, a first round pick, and a third round pick, is battling injuries and inconsistency on a CBJ team that can’t seem to buy a win.
Carter was traded from Philadelphia almost immediately after signing an 11-year contract extension, in an attempt by the Flyers to clean house of bad locker room personalities, and long term contracts that would hinder them signing Ilya Bryzgalov.
Signed through the 2021-2022 season at a $5.27 million cap hit, Carter is a big time investment in time and cap space. Carter is a 30 goal scorer on average, but certainly has the talent to eclipse 40 goals a few more times in his career. At 27 years old, Carter is entering his prime, and should continue to product 30 goal seasons as long as he’s healthy.
The problem with Carter is that he is rather vanilla. He has just seven (SEVEN!) hits and only 12 blocked shots all year. He doesn’t back check, doesn’t play defense, and is miserable without the puck. In short, Carter doesn’t appear to fit into the New York style of hockey. He is also another center, of which the Rangers have plenty. The Rangers have had success converting centers to wingers (see: Dubinsky, Brandon; Anisimov, Artem), but that’s a bit of a long shot.
Another issue with Carter: Where would he and his 300 shots on goal per year fit on the Rangers? Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards, and Derek Stepan all average about 250 shots on net per year, so there may not be enough shots in a game to fit Carter on one of the top two lines. That last bit may be a bit tough to understand, but at some point the Rangers need a power forward who may not take 300 shots, but will crash the net and have a higher shot conversion percentage.
Carter certainly will not cost as much as Nash, but he will still be up there in price. The Jackets gave up a young roster player to land him, plus two draft picks. Expect the price to be roughly the same. Somewhere along the lines of Artem Anisimov, a first round pick, and a mid level prospect to get the job done. That said, Carter doesn’t really fit here, at least in my opinion.
Would be funny though if he does come here, and lights up the Flyers on a regular basis.