Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 2/5/12


According to various reports, Jeff Carter is on the trade block and will likely get dealt by the end of the month. Despite his elite goal-scoring ability, teams could shy away from his contract and bad attitude. If you were a general manager, would you trade for Carter? Alexander and Patrick debate…

No, I would not trade for Jeff Carter
By Alexander Monaghan

Not only is Carter expensive, but he also carries his albatross of a contract for another 10 years. And while the former 46-goal scorer has the ability of playing at an elite level, he hasn't consistently shown that over his career, or this season for that matter.

Carter is more of a supplemental player with the ability to score goals. A leader, franchise player he is not. He has never been a leader in the room, and only once has he led a team in scoring – his aforementioned 46-goal campaign in 2008-09.

Over the last couple of seasons, the Philadelphia Flyers moved him from his natural position of center, making him a sniper opposed to all-around center. That move was indicative of how they viewed him – a secondary scorer who was not the focal point of the line.

Carter was the first of the 'big two' to ship out of the City of Brotherly Love. Furthermore, GM Paul Holmgren chose to rid himself of the “lifetime deal” before it even started.

Clearly we had a case of a perfect sell-high trade in which Holmgren and the Flyers not only replaced Carter's production but got younger and cheaper because of it. Now Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson needs to find decent value for that same asset and, for my money, you won't get young cheap assets for a less-than-healthy Carter.

Moreover, can you guarantee Carter would even want to come to my team? Carter took the trade from Philadelphia very personally, which is somewhat worrisome. He also is notably unhappy with his current stay in Columbus. Even though he would likely be acquired for a stretch run on a contending team, it's hard to gauge where he head is.

Over 50 players carry a cap hit higher than Carter's $5.27 million anchor, which is somewhat telling of the company he keeps. However, there are well more than 50 players that outperformed the London, Ont., native during the 2011-12 campaign, meaning that most of his price tag is based on potential. Yes, we know he has a high ceiling, but the 27-year-old is out of his element and a complete wild card.

Having said that, there probably aren't too many better players available on the trade market which maintains the sniper's appeal. Nevertheless, the GM to spend all that cash, and assets, on Carter won't be me.
---

Since Carter is an elite talent, yes
By Patrick Hoffman

Everyone knows that in the National Hockey League, there are good trades and there are bad trades. Back in June of 2011, the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Flyers' sniper Jeff Carter. At the time, it seemed like this would be a good deal for many reasons.

For starters, the Blue Jackets thought they finally had someone who could play alongside Rick Nash. Not only was Carter known for being able to put the puck in the net, but he could create and setup plays just as well.

Secondly, the Blue Jackets thought they had acquired someone who could take the scoring burden off of Nash. Since Nash came into the league, the Blue Jackets have been relying on him to do everything so having Carter around would make things easier for Nash and perhaps take the pressure off of him.

Lastly, Carter is young and with the long contract set-up, would have his prime years with the Blue Jackets. He would essentially grow old in Columbus.

Unfortunately for the Blue Jackets, this has turned out to be a terrible deal. Carter has scored just 17 points (10 goals and 7 assists) and has played in just 30 games due to various injuries.

There is speculation that Carter is unhappy in Columbus. However, Carter is saying all the right things about getting back into the lineup to help his team even though he is frustrated with the way the season has unfolded.

The Blue Jackets need to go ahead and trade Carter. While Carter's contract is certainly a road block for many clubs, there is no doubting his potential on what he can do. Carter is the kind of player who can score over 40 goals and collect a lot of points when he is healthy.

The Jackets need to cut their losses and make a move while they can get someone of value in return. It is always tough to admit when you are wrong but Blue Jackets' general manager Scott Howson needs to do just that and move Carter along. And if I were a GM on a contending team, I'd take a gamble on Carter. He's a skillful player that can make a difference for many years to come.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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