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Report: Flyers would choose Matt Carle over Jaromir Jagr if needed

May 3, 2012, 7:58 PM EDT

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers Getty Images

At the time, it seemed like the Philadelphia Flyers overpaid Jaromir Jagr when they handed him a $3.3 million contract, but the brilliance of that deal was that it was for just one year. Of course, that’s also the problem now that it worked out: they have to re-sign the 40-year-old winger. Sam Carchidi floats an interesting nugget from “a source”: he’s not even their top off-season priority.

Instead, the team reportedly believes that inking defenseman Matt Carle is a bigger deal.

On its face, that might seem weird. After all, Jagr has been a smash-hit alongside Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux while Carle has his occasional defensive lapses. Yet there are a number of reasons why this stance makes a lot of sense.

  • Carle is 27 while Jagr is 40-years-old.
  • As great as Jagr has been, it’s logical to assume that other (possibly cheaper and younger) forwards could succeed on that line, too.
  • With Chris Pronger likely out of the picture, Carle joins Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn as one of Philly’s most valuable defenseman. D is more of a need than offense for Philly.
  • Jagr’s increasing age is also bringing about more incidents of injury. That’s unlikely to change as he gets even older (he’ll turn 41 next season).
  • Also, from a “fan service” standpoint, Jagr’s not a long-time fixture. It’s not like they’d be the Anaheim Ducks letting Teemu Selanne walk.

That being said, the Flyers already invest a surprising amount of money in their up-and-down D corps. Here’s a look at the contracts they have under contract after this season (Pavel Kubina‘s $3.85 million hit mercifully expires this summer).

Carle: ?
Timonen: $6.33M (expires after 2012-13)
Pronger (might not count because of LTIR): $4.92M (expires in 2016-17)
Coburn: $4.5M (expires after 2015-16)
Andrej Meszaros: $4M (expires after 2013-14)
Nicklas Grossmann: $3.5 (expires after 2015-16)
Andreas Lilja: $737K (expires after 2012-13)

As you can see, the Flyers invest a lot in … everything, it seems. The thing is, Giroux’s amazing bargain ($3.75M per year through 2013-14) allows them to overpay in other areas.


GM Paul Holmgren might be able to squeeze both under the cap, but if it comes down to one or the other, word is he’ll go with Carle. After looking at all those factors, do you think that would be the right choice?

  1. bcisleman - May 3, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Does that mean they will not be a player in the Nash saga?He gets $7.8 mil through 2018.

  2. vismund11 - May 3, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    God please no. Please please no. Matt Carle and his Soft Teddy bear play sucks and I want him gone.

  3. heyzeus143 - May 3, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    best player in the world is gonna want paid too – looking at about 8 to 10 mil per year in a few years

  4. dsd3 - May 3, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    It would be really nice to hang onto Carle. (I have eyes, so unlike most Philly fans, I know he’s a great defenseman) I hope the Flyers can get both deals done, but having Carle for a few more years is probably more important than locking Jagr down for one more year, as sad as it would be to lose Jagr.

    • dmfc1112 - May 4, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      Really? Carle’s a GREAT defenseman? Hmm, perhaps you missed him not being in position to cover Parise on the Devils third goal?? HOw about his awesome attempt at a pass to a teammate that ended up being him putting the puck in Bryz’s crease? Anyway, The flyers have enough slightly above average defensemen who don’t know if they should play D or O. It’s impossible to replace Pronger but c’mon, get a defenseman that can actually block a shot instead of just being an extra screen.And on the bigger wishlist is somebody who doesn’t back in EVERY time an opposing forward has the puck.

      • dsd3 - May 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        Just wait until he’s gone from the team. You’ll be missing him quite a bit.

  5. ml3939 - May 4, 2012 at 12:06 AM


  6. jimw81 - May 4, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    neither. it depends how much they are going to pay a player like weber. Pronger is done.

  7. flyerscup2010 - May 4, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    It shouldnt be coming down to it. I hate to beat up on Carle because thats like the cool thing to do these days around here it seems, but if he gets market value from the Flyers than the Flyers are overpaying, at least in the sense that they should be upgrading their defense. It’s far too shaky and given that Kimmo’s contract is almost up it needs a bit more top end. Carle isnt top end, hes a complementary player for a top pair.

  8. hank10 - May 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Carle is too inconsistent and isn’t all that. Unless Jagr wants an insane amount of money, I’d rather re-sign him for 2-3 years.

  9. lsxphotog - May 4, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Kind of a stupid subject. The Flyers are focusing on winning the cup right now and I’m very sure if they do, they’ll have no trouble sparing ink to get Jagr back for another year if he’s willing.

  10. tshewell - May 11, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Matt Carle has proved that he is not in the same league as the rest of the Flyers players. I hate for us to loose a team member, but we simply needs someone who makes less BIG mistakes and contributes more. As fr Jagr – that is a no-brainer, YES KEEP HIM He is not only an great asset on the ice during the games but an even greater asset during practices and conditioning. Look at the youth of this team and how much Jagr can teach and help them. Jagr is a twofor, he is a great player and training coach all in one, we would be foolish to let him go. If Pronger is done, get another D or train the younger guys, but now we need to work on good defensive offence men who can shoot, pass, or skate the puck instead of dump and chase and lots of fore and back checking to take the puck away from the other team.

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