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Jeff Carter remains silent in wake of trade to Columbus

Jun 27, 2011, 4:05 AM EDT

Buffalo Sabres v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Two Getty Images

It’s been four days since the Columbus Blue Jackets completed their long-rumored deal for Jeff Carter. Four days since the entire fanbase in Columbus started dreaming about Carter and Rick Nash racking up the points at will. Four days since the team thought they had answered the #1 center question that had been haunting the team since its inception. It should be a joyous time for hockey fans in Ohio—but the trade hasn’t gone down as expected.

The cold fact of the matter is that it’s been four days since the trade and Jeff Carter as still not said a word to the media. There haven’t been any radio interviews, no phone conferences with reporters, and not even a simple press release. There has only been silence—and plenty of it.

The good news for Blue Jackets fans is that Carter’s frustration/anger/sadness is not directed at the Columbus organization. There are various reports that Carter had been assured by Flyers management that he wouldn’t be moved before his no-trade clause became effective in 2012. From the Columbus Dispatch’s Puck-Rakers blog:

“We’re told repeatedly that Carter’s anger is directed at the Flyers, that it has nothing to do with the fine city of Columbus and the likeable people therein. But the longer this goes, Blue Jackets fans can’t help but take this personally. To be born in Columbus is to carry a heavy inferiority complex. This certainly doesn’t help.”

Now Carter and his 11-year extension are in Columbus for the foreseeable future. While it’s understandable that Carter is upset from a personal standpoint, this is the ugly side of hockey that is a business. Carter obviously intended on finishing his career with the Flyers when he signed the long-term deal. Unfortunately for him, things haven’t worked out as he would have hoped. Moving for a job (which this is) is never easy and if he had assurances from the Flyers management, the deal is dubious at best. Regardless, it’s clear that Carter is taking the business side of hockey personally.

As has been pointed out, perhaps Carter’s anger will prove to help him in the long run. Never underestimate the talented athlete who thinks he’s been disrespected. Athletes in all sports can raise their level of play when they perform with a chip on their shoulder. That’s exactly what the folks over at the Blue Jackets’ blog Light The Lamp are hoping to see:

What I hope he will be doing shortly is turning his anger into motivation. What I hope he will be doing is circling Nov 5th on the Jackets schedule. What I hope he will be doing is realizing how important he will be to this team. What I hope he will be doing is talking to players who have actually lived in Columbus — I’ve never heard ONE complaint from a current or former player about this city.

Of course, the sooner Jeff Carter speaks to the public about the trade, the sooner all of this will go away. He and his agent can publish the usual, cliché filled press release and the team can turn their attention to acquiring free agents to play with Carter and Nash. But the organization will be left in a state of flux as Carter continues to draw this drama out. They could be out working on a deal with RJ Umberger using the line, “wouldn’t it be great to play with your old teammate?” Instead, Carter and his feelings about the trade are the last things management will want to bring up.

At some point, Carter will accept the deal and move on with his life. The Blue Jackets just hope its soon—they have plenty more deals to make if they want to be competitive next season.

  1. whatagreatfootballmind - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    Jeff, the money the owner pays you looks exactly the same in your bank account, even if it is from philadelphia, columbus, atlanta (just kiding about that one), winnipeg, or phoenix. Just look at your monthly statement in the mail, and I promise you will smile.

  2. sportsdiva - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Jeff signed a long-term, cap friendly deal, foregoing a chance at unrestricted free agency and likely much more money over time in order to stay and play in Philadelphia. He is understandably chapped about this. And perhaps he’s waiting to talk until he can be pretty sure he’s not going to put his foot in his mouth. He’s used to dealing with the Philadelphia sports media, who are low on hockey knowledge and high on desire and ability to stir up drama. Give him time. But if I were he, I’d be angry, too.

    • delcomilkmans - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      Philly is low on hockey knowledge?? Where are you getting this information? Pretty sure they’re high on all of their sports knowledge. Mike Richards (after his trade) spoke highly of Philly and said the fans are of the most knowledgeable in hockey only to restate “all sports for that matter.” While fans are not the media, it still does not ring true that the media knows nothing. Also, If Mike Richards (the previous Captain and 1st face of the franchise) got traded to LA and was able to hold a press conference and go on one of philly’s radio stations the next morning, his best bud should be able to do it. Carter’s situation doesn’t seem nearly as bad as richards, who also had a ntc in july of 2012. Yes, I’m a flyers fan and I was annoyed at the media’s stirring of richard’s leadership and the constant stories of a split locker room, but I think our media is quite intelligent. Carter should’ve seen this coming even if they said they weren’t going to get rid of him and even if he signed a long term contract. Unless you’re completely safe there’s always a chance. Two examples right here.

  3. whatagreatfootballmind - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    thats the risk you take when you sign a long term deal. his agent should have negotitated a no trade clause that kicked in sooner.

    • fongterence - Jun 27, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      He did have an NTC, it can’t go into effect in until he was UFA age yet though as per CBA rules.

  4. copboy4090 - Jun 27, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    He’s thinking, “Columbus? WTF Flyers management”. $$$ ain’t everything.

    • cannonblast14 - Jun 27, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      Hes thinking, “Flyers, WTF happened, you said i wasnt going to be traded” And your right $$$ aint everything, loyalty and honesty are also obviously pretty large to Carter

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