Once the dust had finally settled last week after the Philadelphia Flyers' shocking trades of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, many things were said by the involved parties. Richards himself had a conference call with reporters. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren poured out his emotions by saying how much he would miss both players, but claimed his excitement for those he acquired.
Yet there was an odd silence coming from Carter, the newest member of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was disappointed with the deal and he certainly had a reason to be. He had signed an 11-year contract with the Flyers last November, with a no-trade clause set to kick in next July.
When news of the trade broke, many waited for the 26-year-old center to comment. Instead, silence ensued until Monday, when Carter finally spoke.
"My decision to not talk had absolutely nothing to do with being traded to Columbus," Carter said. "I know it's a team that has struggled in the past, but there's a great future there, a lot of young players. I'm excited to be there."
So, there you have it. Carter was obviously disappointed with the way things were handled coming from the Flyers' end, and said as much later on in the report. While Richards took the trade in stride and did a fine job speaking to the media, Carter ran and hid from the spotlight.
It was a different way to react to the trade. And also the wrong way. It was disappointing to see Carter deflect the news by not speaking. This could go down as part of the reason why the Flyers traded Carter, if not both him and Richards.
Carter is still young and in his prime. However, it does not look like he has matured in his time here. He took the trade like an immature person would, and that will not leave him in a positive light with Flyers fans.
His agent, Rick Curran, complained to the media that Carter was essentially lied to by Holmgren, and that may be the case. But you always, always hear players say "this is a business." And though it may be cliché, it is true.
Holmgren apparently met with Carter and told him he had no plans to trade him. When Columbus general manager Scott Howson sweetened the offer by including a top-10 draft pick, Holmgren jumped at the deal.
Carter reportedly had purchased a house at the New Jersey shore in Sea Isle. He was prepared to have a summer home and a place to be for the next few years of his life. But things change, and they change quickly.
The Flyers did not do anything illegal or break any rules. They may have angered their former center, but Holmgren made moves he felt necessary to get his team back on track.
Instead of being a stand-up citizen about the deal, Carter essentially decided to take his ball and go home. I'm sure he loved Philadelphia. He always had said as much. He said he loved his teammates and the organization, too.
But he may not like the organization anymore, and the Flyers have no need to like him either. At the end of the day, this was a relationship that just was not meant to be.
A business is a business whether Carter likes it or not. Columbus may not be as fun as Philadelphia, but you are a professional hockey player in the best league in the world. Don't cry. Don't take your ball and go home. Be a stand-up person and accept the deal for what it is.
Carter will likely regret the way things were handled in the future. If he doesn't, Flyers fans will likely send him a not-so-friendly reminder when Columbus comes to town.
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