Philadelphia Flyers: 5 Reasons Trading Jeff Carter Is a Mistake

Eric CaspersonCorrespondent IIJune 20, 2011

Philadelphia Flyers: 5 Reasons Trading Jeff Carter Is a Mistake

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 04:  Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers tries to keep the puck from Michael Ryder #73 of the Boston Bruins in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 4 , 2011 in
    Elsa/Getty Images

    With the Philadelphia Flyers acquiring the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov last week, the organization is in a heart-pounding race to sign their new No. 1 goalie to a long-term deal.

    In order to do so, the Flyers organization has to clear up a pretty good chunk of cap space. Bryzgalov will command at least $5 or $6 million a year. The main trade target popping up in rumors has been Jeff Carter.

    Why Jeff Carter? Because he makes about $6 million a year and probably has the most trade value of anyone of the current roster.

    Trading away a guy like Jeff Carter would be a mistake for the orange and black though. You are going to trade one of your top players as part of a salary dump?

    Here are five reasons that the Flyers should hold on to Mr. Carter.

5. There's a Reason He Is Signed Until 2022

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    BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 18: Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers reacts after Kimmo Timonen #44 scored an empty net goal aginst the Buffalo Sabres  in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HSBC Ar
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    We all remember the Jeff Carter trade talks a few years back when his contract was going to expire. How did the Flyers respond? Oh, only by signing him to a life-time contract that would keep him in Philly until the 2022 season.

    Much like Mike Richards, the Flyers knew they had a special player in Carter. You do not just sign a franchise player to a 10-plus-year deal and then trade him away to clear cap space.

4. There Are Plenty of Other Flyers They Could Get Rid of

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 06: Scott Hartnell #19 of the Philadelphia Flyers reacts after the loss to the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Everyone keeps saying, "No team wants Scott Hartnell." Really? If I were an average or below average team, I would love to get my hands on a consistent 20-goal scorer who plays with heart every night.

    I know Flyers fans are fed up with his penalty antics, but I am sure a desperate team would be willing to take on Hartnell's game.

    Other players making big money next season are Kris Versteeg and Matt Carle.

3. Jeff Carter Is a "Flyer"

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 16:  Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Buffalo Sabres during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 16, 2011 in Philadelphia
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Perhaps no other Flyer has shown as much heart and determination as Jeff Carter over the past two seasons.

    Last year it was the broken foot. This year it was the sprained knee. Carter returned rather early from both injuries to help the Flyers advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Imagine what he could have done at 100 percent.

2. Home Grown Talent

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    PHILADELPHIA - MAY 24:  Mike Richards #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates with his team after scoring a goal in the first period against Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stan
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Flyers have a long history of a great farm system. That great farm system from five or six years ago is now at the NHL level and is paying dividends for the organization.

    Richards, Giroux, Carter, van Riemsdyk and now Bobrovsky are all examples of how deep the Flyers really are. Every fan wants to see their farm team succeed and turn into a great NHL team. Don't break it up now. This team still has a good five years left in them.

1. Jeff Carter Is the Team's Leading Goal Scorer

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    BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 18:  Jeff Carter #17 and Mike Richards #18 of  the Philadelphia Flyers celebrate after Carter scored Philadelphia's first goal against the Buffalo Sabres in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Since 2008, Jeff Carter has been the team's leading goal scorer. Carter has averaged 38 goals during that time frame.

    The Flyers have had one of the more potent offenses the past couple seasons, yes, but you cannot underestimate that ability in the postseason. The Flyers struggled to get pucks past Tim Thomas all series long. Now granted, Thomas was the Playoffs MVP.

    But if the Flyers want to win a Stanley Cup, they are going to have to score against a pretty tough goaltender.