I am just going to throw this out but do you think Carter wants to sign here. In the this past stretch where injuries have run rampant though the lineup Carter has been asked to play huge minutes in various different roles. If Richards doesn't get hurt its more then likely Carter would be relegated back to 3rd center status and get the minutes and linemates of a 3rd line center. Which leads me to think that there is a possibility Carter may wish to explore his options and end up in a place where he is the top dog and the budding young star rather then the second fiddle role he currently plays to Richards.
Also judging on some of the offer sheets given out last summer if his negotiations reach July, 1 I think he will be in line for a nice payday that the Flyers may not be able to match. Everybody wants Hatcher and Kappanen to retire but the fact of the matter is both are under contract for next season and Kappanen is strapped with the all too familiar NTC. Say if Carter is offered a Penner like deal at a 4.25 cap hit along with Umberger who I will ballpark around 2 million. With around 6 million of the off season money going to those 2 it doesn't leave much to upgrade our d with 2 regulars needing to be resigned or replaced in Jones and Smith.
I think more or less it is going to come down to Carter deciding if he would want to take a lesser role and most likely less money then he could make on the market to stay here with a good young core who has a legitimate chance at the cup in upcoming years.