Last week, Flyers fans had a chance to rejoice after the team signed rising star forward Claude Giroux to a three-year extension. Today, TSN’s Bob McKenzie brings news that the Flyers have taken care of their other big potential future free agent Jeff Carter. McKenzie reports that the Flyers have signed Carter to an 11-year extension worth $58 million. That deal comes with a cap hit of $5.27 million per season. Here’s to hoping that Carter can still get it done in 11 years and worth the cap hit.
At 26 years-old, Carter is sometimes the focus of frustrations by Flyers faithful, but his ability to score goals and rack up points is there. Two seasons ago, Carter scored 46 goals on his way to an 84 point season. Last year he tossed in 33 goals on his way to a 61 point season. When he’s healthy and mentally on his game, he’s a dynamic scorer. With the possibility of making Team Canada’s Olympic team last year, Carter seemed distracted at times after being the last guy left off the team. It’s not that we’re making excuses for the guy here, but it was noticeable to see that missing out on that opportunity bothered him.
The fact that the Flyers are ponying up this big now for Carter does seem a bit surprising and it’s clear their hand is being forced by the possibility of seeing Carter becoming a free agent at the end of the year. To get a deal done before a player hits free agency, sometimes you need to pony up in a big way and guarantee the guy’s future. Clearly, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren felt that was the right course of action with Carter.
The money here isn’t the issue with the contract. If you can keep a guy who scores anywhere from 30-45 goals in a season for just a bit over $5 million a year, you do it and you do it right away. Carter’s talent is obvious, despite the complaints of some fans. He’s a damn good player and getting such a cap-friendly hit on him is great. The length of the deal, however seems a bit wonky to us, but that’s more than likely due to trying to keep said cap hit down and manageable. That doesn’t mean we’re expecting cap-lowering shenanigans going on with this contract, that’s just how teams have to do things to make it work. Not everyone is going to be forking over Kovalchuk money, but with Giroux and Richards locked up, the Flyers don’t have a whole lot to worry about for some time.