Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flyers deal Jeff Carter to the Blue Jackets

With the signing of Ilya Bryzgalov likely to happen any day now, we knew the Flyers were going to have to trade someone to clear cap space. The first casualty: Jeff Carter, who has been traded to the Blue Jackets for RW Jakub Voracek and a 1st and 3rd round pick. The first round pick is 8th overall.

First, let's deal with the cap implications. Trading Carter, who signed an 11 year contract that kicks in next year, clears 5.75 million dollars off the cap. The Flyers will need to sign Voracek, who made 1.27 million last year and is now a restricted free agent, and he could demand somewhere around 3 million per year. That should get the Flyers closer to having enough space to sign Bryzgalov, who is rumored to want close to 7 million dollars a year, but they will still need to make another move.

Getting rid of Carter and his 30+ goal per season output will certainly hurt the offense but the Flyers should be a better team in the long run. Not only do they add the pieces in this deal, which include two draft picks and a young skater with some upside, but the Flyers essentially also got Bryzgalov in the deal since they can now almost afford to sign him.

As for the one player the Flyers got in the deal who will suit up for them next season, Voracek will be 22 when the season starts and already has three NHL season under his belt. He's a former 7th overall pick in the 2007 draft and has shown some solid offensive skills, averaging 13 goals and 45 assists per season. He's also a right winger, so the dealing of Carter should help the Flyers clear up their center logjam.

This is a huge deal for the Flyers that represents a new way of thinking for the club. They are now building from the goaltender out, giving up some of their depth to ensure some stability in net. Count on another deal or two in the coming days as the Flyers might have to shed a little more salary to fit Bryzgalov under the cap. I'd put money on Kris Versteeg being the next to go but they could also move a bigger name.

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