Just spoke to someone close to the Carter negotiations...
Contrary to rumors out today, the deal is NOT finalized yet, however they are close.
"Jeff's first priority is to stay with the Flyers," I was told.
Both sides are apparently working hard to getting a deal done before Carter would be eligible to receive offers from other teams on July 1st and I hear that we have every reason to believe it will get done.
I am not privy to whether it was length or salary that needed to be ironed out.
Holmgren has said in the past that the RFAs would not get Mike Richards-type deals, even if that bucks the recent trend in the NHL. Few would argue that these guys even deserve a mega-deal, but Carts and Umby did themselves big favors this year putting up the numbers they did in the final year of their respective deals.
With the cap expected to rise consistently over the next several years as league revenues improve, it is in Carter's best interest to not seek an overextended deal anyway. I say right now he is valued at about $4.65 million (average cap hit on the deal, give or take) and so with a 5 year deal, he tops $20 million and leaves himself open for a bigger payday while still in prime years. A deal of that length also gives the Flyers a chance to see if he will be able to shed he streaky ways and become a solid contributor that can be counted on night-in and night-out.
I expect a deal done in about a week or so which keeps Carter in Philly for the next 5-6 years and running the Flyers about $25 million over the course of the contract.
Mike Mreczko is the Flyers Reporter for 950 ESPN Philadelphia (WPEN). Send questions or comments to [email][email protected]