So You Want To Trade Jeff Carter? Are you sure?

Jeff Carter was signed by Paul Holmgren this past weekend. He signed for 11 years for a reported $58 million dollars working out to about a $5.27 million dollar cap hit. This is more than reasonable, this is a great deal. Regardless of whether you like the guy or you hate the guy, Jeff Carter puts a lot of pucks in the back of the net. Over the past three seasons he has scored more goals than any Flyers forward, totaling 108 tallies for the Orange and Black. He has the best faceoff percentage of any Center in the past two seasons and right now owns the best faceoff percentage on the team at a real good 58.7% success rate.

There’s a lot to like, but so many Flyers fans complain about so many things about Jeff Carter and have wanted Holmgren to trade him nearly all of last year, this summer, and especially now that he has been signed. For instance they like to say he’s a one-dimensional forward, he always takes shots from bad angles down the wing, and that he always misses the net high and wide with that wrist shot he takes more than anyone on the team. Is that true? Is Jeff Carter really just a shooting forward who does nothing else for the Flyers than start opponents rushes and pots goals against bad teams and takes bad shots rather than try to make a pretty play and doesn’t play defense? Should he be traded for a real good two-way center and another middle of the road scoring winger? Well let’s take a look.

Last season Jeff Carter missed shots than any Flyers forward, missing a total of 141 shots directed towards the net year, good enough for third in the entire NHL as well. That’s a lot of shots going high or wide or hitting the post. However, he took 319 shots that actually made it on net, which put him at first on the Flyers and third in the league. If we do some math, Carter had 460 attempts at the net and missed the it 30.7% of the time he put the puck towards the net… Or he hit either the back of the net or the opposing goalie 69.3% of the time if you wanna look at it that way. That’s not bad considering Mike Richards missed 97 shots, got 237 of them on net, for a total of 334 shot attempts and that gives us a 29.4% for how many times he fired the puck towards the net and missed it entirely or got the post. If you want to look at the percentages of other Flyers forwards who took shots last year and missed everything or hit the post here’s a list: Claude Giroux missed 30.6%, Scott Hartnell missed 27.9%, Danny Briere only missed 22.5% of his shots, and Simon Gagne missed 24.4% of the shots he directed towards the four by six opening.

Carter’s percentage of missed shots was higher than any other Flyers forward, but he was within a percentage point and a half of both Richards and Giroux and only three percentage points above Hartnell. This year Carter has again missed more shots than any Flyers forward with 33 missed shots, while taking a team high 65 shots on goal, accruing 98 total shots towards the net, and currently missing 33.7% of the time. Richards misses 39.4% of the shots he’s directed towards the net, Ville Leino has missed 43.6% of the shots he’s directed towards the net, Hartnell has missed 29.1% of his shots, Nikolay Zherdev has missed 24.5% of his shots, Briere has missed only 22.1% of his shots, and Claude Giroux has missed only 20.4% of his shots on net. Carter’s shots don’t miss the net as often as people would like to think, and stats really don’t lie. You can say whatever you want, but the guy hits the goaltender or the back of the net an awful lot when he shoots the puck.

A lot of the times when Carter shoots, Flyers fans groan and say “Oh no, another shot from a bad angle right into the goalie’s chest. He sucks!” But realistically, when you’re a center and you win 58.7% of your faceoffs this year, and lead the team with a 52.4% success rate last year on faceoffs, doesn’t that mean it’s not a bad idea to shoot, even if it’s a bad angle and has little chance to go in? Of course it’s not a bad idea, you would rather take an offensive zone draw than make a bad pass and have the puck going the other way, plus if you hit the goalie, he has to make a save first, and what the other forward who was looking for a pass is supposed to do then is go to the net for a rebound. You never know what can happen when you shoot the puck, but in order to score a goal, you have to shoot the puck. If I’m Carter, I’ll take my chances shooting the puck instead of trying a pass across to the guy breaking in with me on a rush.

Now, perhaps the most untruthful thing Flyers fans who dislike Carter say about him: “He’s a one-dimensional player and all he does is shoot the puck”. Well on offense, sure, he shoots the puck a lot. But what about his two-way play? This season he is tied with Mike Richards for the takeaway lead on the Flyers with 12. Last year, Carter had 43 takeaways where he was bested only by Claude Giroux’ 49 amongst all Flyers players. During the 2008-2009 Season you ask? Carter’s 72 takeaways were second to Mike Richards’ 83 on the team. And in 2007-2008 Jeff Carter led the Flyers with 56 takeaways. Carter may not block a lot of shots as over the past four seasons he has blocked totals of 53 in 2007-2008, 53 in 2008-2009, and 34 in 2009-2010, but he certainly steals the puck away from people a good amount of the time. The thing people might not know about Jeff Carter is he’s a good two-way player which is absolutely demonstrated by his takeaway numbers and that gets lost because throughout his career thus far, he’s played mostly with defensive liabilities like Joffrey Lupul, Scott Hartnell, and Danny Briere. Also, over the past three years, Carter has more shorthanded goals than any Flyers player not named Mike Richards with two in 2007-2008, four in 2008-2009, and two in 2009-2010. Carter has seen his shorthanded time on ice cut this year, but that is only because Claude Giroux has been such a phenomenal penalty killer and with Giroux and Richards on the ice during man down situations, the Flyers are more about attacking than killing. Giroux currently leads the team and the league with three shorthanded tallies.

As far as players go, Jeff Carter may not be the best player on the ice, but he is definitely worth that $5.27 million dollar contract and will definitely be an asset for many years to come if he stays healthy, which he has had a track record of doing, missing only eight games in the past three seasons. Knowing all of this information now, do you still want to trade Jeff Carter? I know I don’t.

  • Bob H

    Sure, I’d want to trade Jeff Carter, but for a reason you skipped over — his value in the playoffs.

    Carter had a decent 2008 playoffs with 11 points in 17 games, but was invisible against Pittsburgh in the conference finals. He then was more invisible against the Pens in ’09 with a goal in six games.

    Also, and this is my big thing…he didn’t do squat when the pressure was really on in the Finals last year. One empty-net goal, and he blew two more good chances, including a half-empty net in the final 90 seconds of regulation of Game 6 where Niemi basically fell into the shot.

    I mean, unless he’s going to suddenly turn it on and be a playoff stud from here on out, I don’t see Carter being the meaningful player when the Flyers need him the most.

    Also, and I know this has crossed the minds of several people I’ve talked to…does the organization know contracts come in sizes other than two years and, like eight-or-more years?

    • It’s Not a Puck

      Tired arguments. But lets see if Carter’s consistency continues into the playoffs. Carter’s not the only player on the team. It takes a team to win. I don’t blame him when in some of the games in the Stanley Cup Finals the whole teams play seamed flat.

      • Nickdobo

        I don’t see how any of these arguments are tired. I would love to see you skate with two feet surgically repaired less than a month ago and skate in the NHL.

        Also, playoff performers still need to get to the playoffs to perform in the playoffs, so you need guys that play well in the regular season and I believe your point is completely moot. Carter’s cap hit is less than Richards and Briere and he’s scored more goals than both the last two seasons as well as more points than Briere and just one less than Richards last season playing eight fewer games and Jeff was on a tear before he was hit with the first shot keeping him out the last eight games of the season. He also scores a ton of game winning goals and has more than any player on the Flyers in the past two years and right now he’s tied for the lead with three.

        He scores timely, important goals in the regular season, and does play in the playoffs, just doesn’t score, it happens. That’s why the team has more players than just Jeff Carter. It’s called depth and it’s how you build your team.

        • It’s Not a Puck

          I was agreeing with the article. And saying that because he misses the net he should be traded is a tried argument. I agree that, yes it so happens that a player doesn’t score in the finals that doesn’t mean he played bad.

          • Nickdobo

            Gotcha, well it came off as if you were trying to say that players who don’t perform in the playoffs aren’t worth this kind of money and clubs would be better off trading said types of players for guys that score less, but do perform in the playoffs.

          • Nickdobo

            Gotcha, well it came off as if you were trying to say that players who don’t perform in the playoffs aren’t worth this kind of money and clubs would be better off trading said types of players for guys that score less, but to perform in the playoffs.

    • Flyersphan

      You do realize that Carter played with a separated shoulder in the Pens series in 2009, don’t you? A separated shoulder would certainly affect a shooter’s ability to shoot the puck.

      • http://xx89.us XX89

        It’s not just when he’s injured that he misses the net. Its a valid concern that he doesn’t produce in the playoffs.

        • Nickdobo

          Yeah but you still have to get to the playoffs. Not to mention he doesn’t miss all that much more percentage-wise than anyone else on the team or in the league.

          He’s been hurt two of the four seasons in his NHL career that he hasn’t produced all that well in the playoffs and he did get 11 points in 17 games that one year. I still think that when you look at it, Carter brings a lot more to the team on a more consistent basis than just scoring goals and to get him for a $5.27 mill cap hit is fair, justified, and may even work out to be a very good deal.

          Having a guy who is capable of putting the puck in the net a lot gives space and time to guys like Giroux and Briere and Leino and all these other guys. Other teams will have to stop every single one of them in order to shut the Flyers down and unless they all go into a slump at the same time like last year, knock on wood, most teams will still put their best checking lines against the Briere and Giroux lines.

  • Bob H

    Sure, I’d want to trade Jeff Carter, but for a reason you skipped over — his value in the playoffs.

    Carter had a decent 2008 playoffs with 11 points in 17 games, but was invisible against Pittsburgh in the conference finals. He then was more invisible against the Pens in ’09 with a goal in six games.

    Also, and this is my big thing…he didn’t do squat when the pressure was really on in the Finals last year. One empty-net goal, and he blew two more good chances, including a half-empty net in the final 90 seconds of regulation of Game 6 where Niemi basically fell into the shot.

    I mean, unless he’s going to suddenly turn it on and be a playoff stud from here on out, I don’t see Carter being the meaningful player when the Flyers need him the most.

    Also, and I know this has crossed the minds of several people I’ve talked to…does the organization know contracts come in sizes other than two years and, like eight-or-more years?

    • It’s Not a Puck

      Tired arguments. But lets see if Carter’s consistency continues into the playoffs. Carter’s not the only player on the team. It takes a team to win. I don’t blame him when in some of the games in the Stanley Cup Finals the whole teams play seamed flat.

      • Nickdobo

        I don’t see how any of these arguments are tired. I would love to see you skate with two feet surgically repaired less than a month ago and skate in the NHL.

        Also, playoff performers still need to get to the playoffs to perform in the playoffs, so you need guys that play well in the regular season and I believe your point is completely moot. Carter’s cap hit is less than Richards and Briere and he’s scored more goals than both the last two seasons as well as more points than Briere and just one less than Richards last season playing eight fewer games and Jeff was on a tear before he was hit with the first shot keeping him out the last eight games of the season. He also scores a ton of game winning goals and has more than any player on the Flyers in the past two years and right now he’s tied for the lead with three.

        He scores timely, important goals in the regular season, and does play in the playoffs, just doesn’t score, it happens. That’s why the team has more players than just Jeff Carter. It’s called depth and it’s how you build your team.

        • It’s Not a Puck

          I was agreeing with the article. And saying that because he misses the net he should be traded is a tried argument. I agree that, yes it so happens that a player doesn’t score in the finals that doesn’t mean he played bad.

          • Nickdobo

            Gotcha, well it came off as if you were trying to say that players who don’t perform in the playoffs aren’t worth this kind of money and clubs would be better off trading said types of players for guys that score less, but do perform in the playoffs.

          • Nickdobo

            Gotcha, well it came off as if you were trying to say that players who don’t perform in the playoffs aren’t worth this kind of money and clubs would be better off trading said types of players for guys that score less, but to perform in the playoffs.

    • Flyersphan

      You do realize that Carter played with a separated shoulder in the Pens series in 2009, don’t you? A separated shoulder would certainly affect a shooter’s ability to shoot the puck.

      • http://xx89.us XX89

        It’s not just when he’s injured that he misses the net. Its a valid concern that he doesn’t produce in the playoffs.

        • Nickdobo

          Yeah but you still have to get to the playoffs. Not to mention he doesn’t miss all that much more percentage-wise than anyone else on the team or in the league.

          He’s been hurt two of the four seasons in his NHL career that he hasn’t produced all that well in the playoffs and he did get 11 points in 17 games that one year. I still think that when you look at it, Carter brings a lot more to the team on a more consistent basis than just scoring goals and to get him for a $5.27 mill cap hit is fair, justified, and may even work out to be a very good deal.

          Having a guy who is capable of putting the puck in the net a lot gives space and time to guys like Giroux and Briere and Leino and all these other guys. Other teams will have to stop every single one of them in order to shut the Flyers down and unless they all go into a slump at the same time like last year, knock on wood, most teams will still put their best checking lines against the Briere and Giroux lines.

  • Nickdobo

    You do realize that he was playing on two broken feet last year and had a ton of atrophy in his leg muscles? Plus, we would be remiss if we did not point out that you have to get to the playoffs to actually do well in them.

    Carter not doing a whole lot in the playoffs doesn’t really matter if they don’t get to the playoffs largely due to his play during the regular season. Players like Danny Briere and Claude Giroux are great, I love them both, but they don’t get to do what they do in the playoffs if Jeff Carter doesn’t do what he does in the regular season.

    Plus, simply put, having a 30-40 goal scorer on your team opens things up for guys like Zherdev and Giroux and Briere and Hartnell and Leino and Richards. For the most part, teams will likely try to take time and space away from Carter, and spend more time worrying about him than these other guys. You need more options on your team to open up the ice for other guys. That’s why teams like the Hawks did so well last year, they have guys that open the ice up for everyone else.

    • nosetradamus

      I do realize he was hurt…but basically half of all NHL rosters that get to the fourth round are busted up and have injuries that limit a key individual’s play to a noticeable extent. It’s another bone to pick, and another matter entirely, with the way the organization handles injuries (namely that they’re never an excuse until they happen, and when they’re fully disclosed in the end, it makes the players sound more heroic than they are).

      The Flyers aren’t the only team to suffer losses of that kind but other clubs with other top players hurt seem to be able to push through.

      Soooo…wait…you’re saying that Carter’s value is relative to what he does in the regular season? Seems like you might have left a loophole there, namely what if Carter does a lot in the regular season but the Flyers don’t make the playoffs? Is that everyone else’s fault for not picking up on Carter’s scoring ability, or Carter’s for not doing enough?

      Also, before this deal, Carter was a bona-fide tradeable commodity the club could get fair value for (read more than one player) in a deal if things somehow take a nose-dive. He’s off the table now with his front-loaded salary in his prime years. You don’t need to look further than the benefit when Mark Recchi was dealt to Montreal after two straight 100-point seasons — the Flyers got LeClair and Desjardins out of it.

      Richards and Briere are off the table, now Carter. I seriously shudder to think who we could deal if the unexpected occurs. Plus, what are we gonna do with Ville Leino, who’s next in line for an extension? There’s not a lot of room there now with Carter’s new deal in place.

      • Nickdobo

        There’s actually plenty of room for Leino if you take into consideration that the cap has gone up an average of $3.4 million every year since it’s been instituted. Even if it stays the same, there will more than likely be a deal made and it will probably involve one of the defensemen that the Flyers have. They have 8 currently, so that’s a lot. If you take say Walker’s contract and rid the team of that, it’s an extra $1.7 Million, arguably you won’t need him because of the kids that they have in the minors. Bourdon looked pretty decent as did Gustafsson. You also have to look at Laperriere’s contract at about $1.17 million because he probably won’t play, meaning he’ll be L-TIR’d more than likely so you get that back as well. All told that’s nearly another 2.9 million back on the cap.

        I’m not saying that there haven’t been deals made in the past where clubs, specifically the Flyers, have gotten two great players for a high cost player, but you’re leaving out that the Flyers also got Gilbert Dionne who was a complete bust. The way the new NHL works, it’s very unlikely you’ll get high return immediately that you could fit under the cap and still keep everyone.

        Carter’s deal would mean that you could get two players who are worth around $2.6 million and if you can find two guys on one team that come with that low price tag, one as a pure two-way forward and one as a 30-40 goal scorer or at least both of them being able to notch 20 goals, and that are playoff performers, and that will not require a raise for the next three seasons. Be my guest.

  • Nickdobo

    You do realize that he was playing on two broken feet last year and had a ton of atrophy in his leg muscles? Plus, we would be remiss if we did not point out that you have to get to the playoffs to actually do well in them.

    Carter not doing a whole lot in the playoffs doesn’t really matter if they don’t get to the playoffs largely due to his play during the regular season. Players like Danny Briere and Claude Giroux are great, I love them both, but they don’t get to do what they do in the playoffs if Jeff Carter doesn’t do what he does in the regular season.

    Plus, simply put, having a 30-40 goal scorer on your team opens things up for guys like Zherdev and Giroux and Briere and Hartnell and Leino and Richards. For the most part, teams will likely try to take time and space away from Carter, and spend more time worrying about him than these other guys. You need more options on your team to open up the ice for other guys. That’s why teams like the Hawks did so well last year, they have guys that open the ice up for everyone else.

    • nosetradamus

      I do realize he was hurt…but basically half of all NHL rosters that get to the fourth round are busted up and have injuries that limit a key individual’s play to a noticeable extent. It’s another bone to pick, and another matter entirely, with the way the organization handles injuries (namely that they’re never an excuse until they happen, and when they’re fully disclosed in the end, it makes the players sound more heroic than they are).

      The Flyers aren’t the only team to suffer losses of that kind but other clubs with other top players hurt seem to be able to push through.

      Soooo…wait…you’re saying that Carter’s value is relative to what he does in the regular season? Seems like you might have left a loophole there, namely what if Carter does a lot in the regular season but the Flyers don’t make the playoffs? Is that everyone else’s fault for not picking up on Carter’s scoring ability, or Carter’s for not doing enough?

      Also, before this deal, Carter was a bona-fide tradeable commodity the club could get fair value for (read more than one player) in a deal if things somehow take a nose-dive. He’s off the table now with his front-loaded salary in his prime years. You don’t need to look further than the benefit when Mark Recchi was dealt to Montreal after two straight 100-point seasons — the Flyers got LeClair and Desjardins out of it.

      Richards and Briere are off the table, now Carter. I seriously shudder to think who we could deal if the unexpected occurs. Plus, what are we gonna do with Ville Leino, who’s next in line for an extension? There’s not a lot of room there now with Carter’s new deal in place.

      • Nickdobo

        There’s actually plenty of room for Leino if you take into consideration that the cap has gone up an average of $3.4 million every year since it’s been instituted. Even if it stays the same, there will more than likely be a deal made and it will probably involve one of the defensemen that the Flyers have. They have 8 currently, so that’s a lot. If you take say Walker’s contract and rid the team of that, it’s an extra $1.7 Million, arguably you won’t need him because of the kids that they have in the minors. Bourdon looked pretty decent as did Gustafsson. You also have to look at Laperriere’s contract at about $1.17 million because he probably won’t play, meaning he’ll be L-TIR’d more than likely so you get that back as well. All told that’s nearly another 2.9 million back on the cap.

        I’m not saying that there haven’t been deals made in the past where clubs, specifically the Flyers, have gotten two great players for a high cost player, but you’re leaving out that the Flyers also got Gilbert Dionne who was a complete bust. The way the new NHL works, it’s very unlikely you’ll get high return immediately that you could fit under the cap and still keep everyone.

        Carter’s deal would mean that you could get two players who are worth around $2.6 million and if you can find two guys on one team that come with that low price tag, one as a pure two-way forward and one as a 30-40 goal scorer or at least both of them being able to notch 20 goals, and that are playoff performers, and that will not require a raise for the next three seasons. Be my guest.

  • Andrew

    I think my only argument against this is that your theory is based on him playing center….Unfortunately he is behind richards giroux and briere at the center position. As we have seen lavy doesnt want carter at center or just doesnt want to not see the other 3 at center. 5 mil is a lot for a 3rd line 40 goal scoring winger..? haha i know that sounds crazy but the face off percentage is thrown off because he takes most of his on special teams. IF he was a winger he would be worth the money but unless he plays on a line with giroux all the time he looks to lost at wing.

    • Nickdobo

      But it’s called depth, which Carter gives you at center if one of the other three get hurt or suspended. He plays a good amount of minutes on the power play and scores a good number of points with the man advantage. Plus, if you look at what teams do on the PK, a lot of them put their faceoff specialists out there when they’re down a man, so doesn’t that mean Carter would have a worse percentage at the dot if he’s taking more faceoffs on the man advantage? I’m just saying, that’s a tough argument to make.

      It’s debatable as to what is the third line on this team though because the first line is obviously Hartnell-Leino-Briere. Beyond that, the Powe-Giroux-Carter and Nodl/JvR/Wellwood-Richards-Zherdev line can be interchangeable for scoring line two. Plus putting Powe-Giroux-Carter gives you a very defensively responsible line, while still being able to score lots of goals with the talents of Carter and Giroux.

      $5.27 mill for a guy who plays all situations and scores lots of goals/puts up lots of points/gives time and space to other players, and will be able to provide depth at center and on the wing is still good.

  • Andrew

    I think my only argument against this is that your theory is based on him playing center….Unfortunately he is behind richards giroux and briere at the center position. As we have seen lavy doesnt want carter at center or just doesnt want to not see the other 3 at center. 5 mil is a lot for a 3rd line 40 goal scoring winger..? haha i know that sounds crazy but the face off percentage is thrown off because he takes most of his on special teams. IF he was a winger he would be worth the money but unless he plays on a line with giroux all the time he looks to lost at wing.

    • Nickdobo

      But it’s called depth, which Carter gives you at center if one of the other three get hurt or suspended. He plays a good amount of minutes on the power play and scores a good number of points with the man advantage. Plus, if you look at what teams do on the PK, a lot of them put their faceoff specialists out there when they’re down a man, so doesn’t that mean Carter would have a worse percentage at the dot if he’s taking more faceoffs on the man advantage? I’m just saying, that’s a tough argument to make.

      It’s debatable as to what is the third line on this team though because the first line is obviously Hartnell-Leino-Briere. Beyond that, the Powe-Giroux-Carter and Nodl/JvR/Wellwood-Richards-Zherdev line can be interchangeable for scoring line two. Plus putting Powe-Giroux-Carter gives you a very defensively responsible line, while still being able to score lots of goals with the talents of Carter and Giroux.

      $5.27 mill for a guy who plays all situations and scores lots of goals/puts up lots of points/gives time and space to other players, and will be able to provide depth at center and on the wing is still good.

  • J. Morroni

    Yes, Nick Dobo, I still want to trade Jeff Carter. I do appreciate you making your usual statistical arguments rather than crying “negative” and “hater” like most Carter supporters. However, I think you’re looking too much at raw stats and not enough of Carter’s overall play game in and game out.

    He’s not as good without the puck as you claim (although I’ll grant he is better than he was early in his career when he was 100% DREADFUL). Regarding the takeaway stats, NHL stats are fairly inconsistent from rink to rink (BSH had an interesting article about this last week). I see more lazy and bad defensive play from Carter when I’m at the Wells Fargo Center than his glorious takeaway statistics can overshadow. While he’s not always lazy without the puck, he is always soft as a pillow.

    Stats are great but they don’t dismiss what I see game in and game out. I think Carter’s impressive stats are very similar to those of, say, Bobby Abreau throughout his career as a Phillie. Strictly by the numbers, you’d think he was a wonderful asset. However, many (not all) Phillies fans that watched every game couldn’t wait to move him.

    Injuries aside – by the way, the staff should keep players out of the lineup if they are too hurt to perform – Carter has disappeared in the clutch throughout his career. Some guys with eye-popping stats are only good players, and just not as great as their numbers and reputations would have you believe — some athletes are “Donovan McNabbs”. For years, I’ve seen brief spurts of stellar production from Jeffie between long droughts of poor overall play. He’s definitely a chucker, and, while he’s improved his defense, he’s not as good a 2-way forward as your takeaway stats would have you believe.

    Look, man, I hope I turn out to be wrong about him, but I think this is a terrible move, and I really hope they choose to move him before his NTC next season. That’s my opinion, and #17 has to prove himself otherwise for me. In any case, let’s go Flyers.

    • nickdobo

      Carter has a pretty limited sample size of playoff performances in the NHL. He was hurt last year (two broken feet through the last two rounds), he was hurt the year before that (separated shoulder, kinda difficult to shoot) so that leaves two playoff runs with no injuries. The first where he was a rookie and the second where he scored 11 points in 17 games.

      Carter also had 7 points in 12 games last year. Not bad really when you think about it. But still, I think that you have to have guys that do things during different times of the year. Carter also had 23 points in 23 games the second year he went to the playoffs with the Phantoms, and granted the AHL is mediocre at best, you still have to account for the fact that it’s not like he didn’t score at all like some other guys have and people have lauded them like Simon Gagne. I like Gags, but do yourself a favor and look at his playoff statistics, they’re pretty bad except for last year.

      Carter has the ability to produce, but he also opens the ice up for other guys to do their things. When he’s out there and he’s healthy, he can take over games or he can at least cause the other team to put some of their best checking line players out there, leaving more time for Briere and Richards to go on the ice with less pressure. The Flyers are like any good team, they have a lot of depth, but Carter gives them an edge in a lot of ways where teams wouldn’t be able to focus on shutting down one line or another. They have to shut down all three of their top lines, which as we’ve all seen as of late is really difficult to do.

  • J. Morroni

    Yes, Nick Dobo, I still want to trade Jeff Carter. I do appreciate you making your usual statistical arguments rather than crying “negative” and “hater” like most Carter supporters. However, I think you’re looking too much at raw stats and not enough of Carter’s overall play game in and game out.

    He’s not as good without the puck as you claim (although I’ll grant he is better than he was early in his career when he was 100% DREADFUL). Regarding the takeaway stats, NHL stats are fairly inconsistent from rink to rink (BSH had an interesting article about this last week). I see more lazy and bad defensive play from Carter when I’m at the Wells Fargo Center than his glorious takeaway statistics can overshadow. While he’s not always lazy without the puck, he is always soft as a pillow.

    Stats are great but they don’t dismiss what I see game in and game out. I think Carter’s impressive stats are very similar to those of, say, Bobby Abreau throughout his career as a Phillie. Strictly by the numbers, you’d think he was a wonderful asset. However, many (not all) Phillies fans that watched every game couldn’t wait to move him.

    Injuries aside – by the way, the staff should keep players out of the lineup if they are too hurt to perform – Carter has disappeared in the clutch throughout his career. Some guys with eye-popping stats are only good players, and just not as great as their numbers and reputations would have you believe — some athletes are “Donovan McNabbs”. For years, I’ve seen brief spurts of stellar production from Jeffie between long droughts of poor overall play. He’s definitely a chucker, and, while he’s improved his defense, he’s not as good a 2-way forward as your takeaway stats would have you believe.

    Look, man, I hope I turn out to be wrong about him, but I think this is a terrible move, and I really hope they choose to move him before his NTC next season. That’s my opinion, and #17 has to prove himself otherwise for me. In any case, let’s go Flyers.

    • nickdobo

      Carter has a pretty limited sample size of playoff performances in the NHL. He was hurt last year (two broken feet through the last two rounds), he was hurt the year before that (separated shoulder, kinda difficult to shoot) so that leaves two playoff runs with no injuries. The first where he was a rookie and the second where he scored 11 points in 17 games.

      Carter also had 7 points in 12 games last year. Not bad really when you think about it. But still, I think that you have to have guys that do things during different times of the year. Carter also had 23 points in 23 games the second year he went to the playoffs with the Phantoms, and granted the AHL is mediocre at best, you still have to account for the fact that it’s not like he didn’t score at all like some other guys have and people have lauded them like Simon Gagne. I like Gags, but do yourself a favor and look at his playoff statistics, they’re pretty bad except for last year.

      Carter has the ability to produce, but he also opens the ice up for other guys to do their things. When he’s out there and he’s healthy, he can take over games or he can at least cause the other team to put some of their best checking line players out there, leaving more time for Briere and Richards to go on the ice with less pressure. The Flyers are like any good team, they have a lot of depth, but Carter gives them an edge in a lot of ways where teams wouldn’t be able to focus on shutting down one line or another. They have to shut down all three of their top lines, which as we’ve all seen as of late is really difficult to do.

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