Jeff Carter: Why Brian Burke Will Pass

January 31st, 2012 2 Comments

With the NHL trade deadline just four weeks away, plenty of rumors have surfaced, including the likes of Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jeff Carter joining the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While no Maple Leaf players have been mentioned as possible candidates to join the Blue Jackets, the names of Clarke MacArthur, Luke Schenn and Mikhail Grabovski have been front in centre in just about every rumor involving the Maple Leafs.

So, will Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke attempt to land Carter?

At first glance, Carter, who stands 6’3” and weighs in at just under 200 pounds, has the size that Burke so desperately needs down the middle. That said, Carter is hardly known as a physical player, which is what Burke needs most.

A former first round draft choice of the Philadelphia Flyers (11th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Carter is just 27 years of age. Through 491 career NHL games, carter has posted a total of 191 goals and 169 assists for a total of 360 points (0.73 points per game), while adding 300 penalty minutes.

Carter’s best season came in 2008-09 when he posted a career high in goals, assists and points with 46 goals, 38 assists and 84 points, respectively.

Injuries hurt Carter’s game the following season when he posted 61 points in 74 games. Last year Carter bounced back with a 36-goal effort, which had many pundits talking about Carter as a 40-goal threat for the 2011-12 season and beyond.

With Carter seemingly turning the corner on his health issues, the Flyers signed him to a monster 11-year, $58 million contract. That contract averages out to a $5,272,727 cap hit over through 2021-22, and also carries a Full NTC (2012-13 through 2014-15) and a modified NTC (2015-16 through 2021-22).

Carter was traded to the Columbus Blkue Jackets over the summer, which came as a surprise to Carter as he felt when he signed his deal with the Flyers that he would see him playing in the orange and black for a very long time.

This season Carter has struggled to find his place with the Blue Jackets. Injuries and reports that Carter is unhappy inColumbushave contributed to his drop in offense to just 17 points (0.56 points per game) through 30 injury riddled games.

Where there was once hope that Carter would be a legitimate 40-goal/80-point player, there are now numerous question marks surrounding his career. Some question his heart, some question his commitment level, while most question why Carter may be playing with his third team in two seasons, if traded at this year’s trade deadline.

Any way you slice it, when you consider Carter’s mammoth contract, all the questions surrounding him and the fact that his offensive totals have dropped off so significantly it would seem like an act of desperation for Burke to make a move for Carter.

Burke has long been opposed to the decade-long deals that many NHL stars are signing these days, what makes anyone think he would be willing to compromise his values for a player that is not living up to expectations?

All these issues with Carter, an unfriendly contract, and still we have not even spoken about what the Blue Jackets will be looking for in return for Carter, which is thought to be significant.

Besides, with both Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul having career years, Burke must keep a considerable amount of cap space available so he can re-sign his two most valuable assets. Bringing Carter into the fold would compromise Burke’s ability to sign both Kessel and Lupul, which would seem counter productive to me.

When you consider all the facts, there is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that Burke will be making a move to bring Jeff Carter toToronto.

Move on, Carter is not joining the Maple Leafs…. Sorry Leafs Nation.

Until next time,




  1. Dave says:

    Agreed 110% brother!!!!!

    A nice read read as always and well thought out. No way BB does a deal like this….and thank GOD!!!!

    Lets just leave by gones be by gones….

    Back in 2008 (which Cliff later confirmed) I totally would have done Kabby to PHI for Carter and a 1st….too bad Kaberle didn’t wave (love ya Sundin – but thanks for the pep talk to the Muskoka five!)Unbelieveable Holmgrem even considered this….

    Having said that, were in 2012. Give your keep the buckets on your coconut leafs nation. We’ll get there but Jeff Carter aint the solution and BB knows it!

    (Rant over)


  2. Dave says:

    Guess I should spell sheck during a rant….

    I meant to say…

    “Give your heads a shake Leafs Nation”. Keep the buckets on your coconuts and we’ll get there.



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