|Averaging over 57 points and nearly 77 games a|
season over his 6-year career, 2009 All Star center
Jeff Carter offers Columbus - and Rick Nash -
a proven player to anchor the top scoring line.
The deal is full of few surprises for those closely following the CBJ:
- As mentioned, it was pretty much common knowledge that Carter was at or near the top of Scott Howson's most wanted list.
- Voracek, while talented, never ascended to the level of elite talent that Columbus needed - at a position where the Blue Jackets' cup runneth over. Beyond that, he was known to be close with exiled CBJer Mike Commodore, training in California with Commie before the disastrous 2009-10 season. It would not surprise me if there was just a bit of guilt by association, making it easy for the club to move Voracek. Remember, Voracek was a restricted free agent this offseason, and the CBJ only tendered the minimum required offer. That doesn't show a lot of love or investment on Columbus' side.
- The first round pick did indeed turn out to be a deal sweetener. Or Jake was. Ah well, not important now.
- The third rounder was perhaps the biggest surprise to me. If that's what was needed to make the deal happen, so be it. You gotta give to get.
Carter is signed through (gulp) 2021-22 - not a typo - with an annual cap hit of $5.27 million. Considering that the salary cap keeps rising, and Carter appears to be a durable, genuine talent who can perform on the ice, five million bucks isn't a lot. Now, five million bucks for a 37-year-old (his age when his contract expires) is...but we'll burn that bridge when we come to it. Besides, it's now fair to say that in the 2009 All-Star Carter, Rick Nash finally has a top-level center who can make his performance that much more fun to watch - and more productive!
|CBJ fans need Scott Howson|
to be the MVP of this offseason.
With the Jeff Carter trade, he's
off to a fast start.
There are other ramifications of this trade to be considered over the days ahead, like whether Sammy Pahlsson or Antoine Vermette will center the third line (or Vermette moves over to wing). Then there's the money thing; the CBJ aren't close to the salary cap, but they're not making money and likely are on some form of salary budget. Considering that the team is in desperate need of NHL-caliber defensemen, who is next on the 2010-11 roster to get the heave-ho?
Lastly, let's give credit to Scott Howson. He's clearly under a win-NOW mandate (from management? self-imposed? Does it matter?), and he has to close deals like this. To his credit, he did. Way to go, Mr. CBJ GM. I knew you had it in you. Keep making the team better.
Things just got a whole lot more interesting in CBJ land, folks. Tomorrow's draft probably won't mean as much to us, but don't you think that a player like Jeff Carter is worth the trade-off?