Considering the fact that the two biggest potential 2011 free agents (Joe Thornton and Zdeno Chara) already signed lucrative extensions, the list narrows down to Brad Richards and mercurial forwards such as Alexander Semin. One of those mercurial forwards is Philadelphia Flyers sniper Jeff Carter, a player who can take over a game with his goal scoring ability but also has the tendency to regress a bit in big games.
Carter will see his three-year, $15 million deal expire after this season, but Flyers GM Paul Holmgren might attempt to ink the center to a deal before he hits free agency.
CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio reports that while the two sides have a way to go before striking a deal, the two sides made some progress recently.
“You know me, I don’t say much, but I will acknowledge that I’ve had some conversations with Paul and we’re making progress,” agent Rick Curran told CSNPhilly.com on Wednesday.
“For the moment, that’s probably all I’m going to say. I don’t like to discuss negotiations.”
The Flyers will have some questions to answer this coming summer. Along with signing Carter, they’ll need to re-sign gifted forward Claude Giroux and useful import Ville Leino.
Holmgren said that Carter won’t receive the kind of “lifetime” deal the team handed team captain Mike Richards. That’s not really surprising since Carter lacks the kind of two-way game, consistency and leadership capabilities that make Richards one of the league’s best forwards.
Carter is still a talented player with a rare instinct to shoot hard and often, so don’t be surprised if he signs another deal with the Flyers. If not, he might be one of the most sought-after restricted free agents next summer.