NHL Trade Rumors: 5 Teams That May Be Pursuing Jeff Carter at the Deadline
Last season, it seemed that those talks had been put to rest when the Flyers signed Carter to an 11-year contract extension that would lock the All-Star up for the rest of his career.
However, as we all know, the rumors finally came true when Carter was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets, along with his fat contract.
With a new team that was desperate for a top-line center, it seemed that Carter was set to be in Columbus for quite some time.
Now in another season, and yet another year of Carter being among trade rumors, as after a unimpressive start to the year, it was reported that Carter had requested a trade.
Even though both Carter and the Blue Jackets denied the trade request, RDS, the French-speaking sister channel to TSN, is a respectable source that would not just post something just for fun.
It has been reported that the Blue Jackets are looking to be very active this season before the trade deadline, whether its cleaning house or trying to find the missing pieces to try to save their season.
If the team is cleaning house, Carter and his large contract could be a victim, and here are some of the teams that could be interested in the 26-year-old's services.
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Like the Blue Jackets, the Anaheim Ducks have struggled this season, as they find themselves only two points ahead of Columbus in 14th place in the Western Conference.
Because of their struggles, rumors emerged that the Ducks were looking to create a spark and one way that could happen is the trading of star Bobby Ryan.
The Ducks have said that they are not shopping the 24-year-old, but the fact that so many different teams are calling about him have caused the front office to consider their options.
When the talks of Ryan being traded emerged, one of the first teams to be linked to the New Jersey native was Columbus.
The proposed deal that was being tossed around was Ryan to Columbus for Jeff Carter and a prospect.
If this deal were to be done, it would merely be a move to try and create a spark for each team.
Since the first rumors emerged, the Jackets calls' to Anaheim have slowed, but they could pick up again if both teams continue to struggle.
The Ducks tried to create a spark without making an impact move when they fired coach Randy Carlyle and signed former Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau.
After the coaching change was made, it was reported last week that the Ducks had let all those interested in Ryan know that the team has no plans of moving him as of now.
However, if the team continues to struggle, look for the Ryan rumors to heat up once again.
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In the past, there have been several ex-Flyers that have found their ways onto the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens have spent a lot of time scouting Flyer players and they could find the idea of adding a top-center in Carter to their lineup intriguing.
Montreal finds themselves fourth in the Northeast division and needs a spark to have any chance of saving their season.
Unfortunately for the Canadiens, they don't have a lot to offer in return for Carter.
The Jackets would most likely look for a draft pick, as well as some talented youth.
There is not a lot of youth that the Canadiens are willing to part with, as players like defenseman P.K. Subban and winger Max Pacioretty have already cemented themselves in the team's future plans.
What the Habs do have to their advantage, however, is the city of Montreal most likely tops the list of cities that Carter would accept a trade to.
If Carter has his choice, Montreal could be his likely destination.
Los Angeles Kings
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The trade of Jeff Carter was quite a shock to the NHL after Carter signed such a large contract extension.
The Flyers were not done with the surprises as they traded captain Mike Richards to Los Angeles the same day.
Carter and Richards were in the same draft class and have been roommates and good friends ever since.
If Richards has his way, however, the roomies could be reuniting once again.
The Kings have a lot more to offer Columbus in return than Montreal does and could have the upper hand once the deadline date approached.
Los Angeles has been looking for the pieces that will finally help them get over the hump and into the Stanley Cup Finals, and having Carter and Richards back together could be a huge step forward.
The Kings have a lot of youth, including a prospect goalie in Jonathan Bernier that the Jackets could have some interest in.
One of the biggest struggles for the Columbus Blue Jackets over the course of this season has been the play in net.
Former Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason has not been the same since winning the award back in 2009 and the Jackets may finally be fed up with him.
Curtis Sanford has been a breath of fresh air in net, and Mason has been on the bench ever since.
Even though Sanford has been impressive, the Jackets are still looking for a legit No. 1 goalie, and one name they are interested in is Boston Bruins youngster Tuukka Rask.
Rask is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and with Tim Thomas leading the team during last season's playoffs, he could be expendable.
In order for the Jackets to get Rask to Columbus, the Bruins would most likely want a top-15 talent in return, which leaves Jeff Carter or captain Rick Nash as the only options on the Blue Jackets' roster.
Nash is the face of the franchise in Columbus and Jackets general manager Scott Howson has said several times in the past that Nash isn't going anywhere, but Carter is a different story.
Mason is not the answer in net for the Blue Jackets and if they want a top talent in Rask, Carter could be on his way out in Columbus.
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Another option for fixing the situation in net is to try and deal for young Vancouver Canucks' goalie Corey Schneider.
Schneider is currently in the middle of a goalie controversy between himself and Roberto Luongo.
After leading the Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals last season, Luongo has struggled this year, which has led to more starts for Schneider.
Schneider is set to become a free agent at the end of the year, and if the Canucks don't have plans of bringing him back, they will look to trade him while they can still get something in return for him.
Neither goalie is safe from a trade, but Schneider would be easier to trade, as Luongo comes with a large contract that a lot of teams cannot afford to take on.
The goalie situation in Vancouver has been gaining a lot of interest around the league and the Jackets are not the only team interested in the youngster.
Having a proven 35-goal scorer in Carter as a bargaining chip could put Columbus higher up the list on suitors for Schneider.
However, if Schneider continues his impressive play, the Canucks could shut the door on any possible deal.