If not Carter, who will Flyers deal to make space?
Sometime either before or during the first day of the NHL draft on June 24, the Flyers figure to be making some roster moves to secure the salary cap space needed to sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
There’s been speculation everywhere, most notably in the Columbus Dispatch, and locally among some blogs, about the Flyers’ dealing Jeff Carter for the Blue Jackets’ eighth overall pick in the first round and enigmatic forward Jakub Voracek.
Various sources in both cities confirm the Flyers talked about moving up in the draft. Even general manager Paul Holmgren has said it in talks with media.
But the discussions that Holmgren had at the draft combine recently with Columbus GM Scott Howson weren’t about Carter or the pick. At that time, sources said, it was a dinner to discuss a deal that would have brought goalie Steve Mason to the Flyers.
Shortly after, the Flyers reconsidered and ended up making a deal with Phoenix to get Bryzgalov’s rights. The Flyers have until July 1 to sign the Russian or he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Now, Holmgren and Howson are still talking about that pick but in a lesser deal, sources say. The Blue Jackets have long lacked a scoring forward of Carter’s pedigree. But the Flyers don’t appear willing to move Carter’s $5.27 million cap hit to clear space for Bryzgalov.
Rather, they are leaning toward making a series of moves totaling at least $5 million, if they can. Columbus is also seeking a power-play defenseman. Matt Carle ($3.43 million cap hit) would fit that bill, but Howson wants more than him for the eighth pick, we’re told.
Would he take Scott Hartnell ($4.2 million) or Kris Versteeg ($3.083 million)? Not likely. Howson wants a proven, impact scorer for that pick, preferably a centerman.