• December 5, 2023

Assessing the Flyers Offseason: Second Line of Offense

The second offensive line for the 2010-11 Philadelphia Flyers generally consisted of four players – Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux, James Van Riemsdyk, and Nikolay Zherdev.

Various outlets in the Philadelphia media have suggested that the Flyers will be forced to trade one of their current players for a goaltender due to salary cap constraints. CSNPhilly leaned heavily two weeks ago on the idea that Jeff Carter may be traded as a result of those constraints. Carter’s seven year, $5.27 million contract extension goes into effect July 1, but he can be moved before then.

This is a terrible idea.

Carter is a consistent 35-goal scorer in the NHL and at 26, there’s absolutely no reason to move him, of all players, for a goaltender. I’m sure many out there would have no problem with it “because he’s a bum.” His playoff performances in the last three years haven’t been as good as one would hope, but he’s also been injured for two of them and rushed back in.

In his return to the ice in Game Three against Boston, Carter logged in more ice time than any member of the LBH line.

Despite the handicap of playing on the wing all season when his natural position is center, Carter did just fine with Claude Giroux. Truth be told, it’s much easier to find offensive depth at wing than at center, and moving Carter would put the team at much more of an organizational disadvantage than most realize.

Claude Giroux signed a three year contract during the past season with a respectable $3.75 million cap hit. Giroux has grown into a reliable two-way center and has unbelievable potential. Giroux was one of Peter Laviolette’s heavy lifters in the playoffs, eating a tremendous amount of ice time. He isn’t going anywhere.

No one was more a surprise in the 2011 playoffs than James Van Riemsdyk. The Flyers’ second round performance against the Boston Bruins still stings to think about, especially considering they have now made it to the Finals, but JVR’s efforts in Game Two were monstrous. It appears that he has finally realized how he can effectively use his size against his opponents, which is another reason to be hopeful for next season.

JVR carries a $1.6 million cap hit and will be a restricted free agent after next season.

One of the major disappointments this season was with Laviolette’s poor handling of Zherdev. He was signed to help with the potential scoring drought left after Simon Gagne was shipped to Tampa Bay, but he was never trusted by the coach and never had a chance to succeed. That’s not to say there were never reasons to bench him, but scratching him in Game Four against the Bruins so that Jody Shelley could warm the bench was absurd.

Zherdev is currently facing criminal charges in Russia after an argument with his wife led to him going Jack Nicholson on her car. I’m not going to speculate into what exactly happened there, but suffice it to say, it is very unlikely he will be back in Philadelphia next season.

The JVR-Giroux-Carter line may very well be the top line next season, if Carter isn’t shipped off so the Flyers can sign their true #1 goalie, John Vanbiesbrouck Roman Cechmanek Maxime Ouellet Antero Niittymaki Sean Burke Jeff Hackett Robert Esche Martin Biron Ray Emery Ilya Bryzgalov.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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May 30, 2011 1:05 am

Well yeah, as much as I don’t like Carter and believe he’s kind of a *ussy and that he’ll never help us in the playoffs……….. you just don’t get rid of 26-year-old, 35-goal scorers to clear cap space. Gotta get rid of Hartnell here.

May 30, 2011 8:37 am

J Carter is most overrated player on the Flyers Roster and probably one of the most disappointing players in all the NHL.. He has the size to be dominant out in front, he has great hands for a big guy and reminds me of a player who could be like a Tim Kerr and even better since Carter skates so well for a big guy.. but he lacks the heart and toughness, Carter plays like he’s 5-10″ and trys to skate way too much instead of doing the dirty work out front… Time to move him out and his little production that he provides come playoff time every year..

May 30, 2011 9:24 am

boyer good assement on carter, hartnell would be nice to move provided the right piece is brought back.

for all the part time watchers, carter is a very good player. you don’t score 35-40 goals and play both ends of the ice and get moved. sure he is not the heavy hitting physical player everyone wants but there are only a handful of them in the league. carter is a very solid 2-way player and can win you games on his own. i am not a huge fan of carter becasue i feel he plays to relaxed and not aggressive enough, but saying that he is a top 10 scorer in this league. for a cap hit of 5.27 mil you don’t dump him for prospects or for cap space. he is coming into his prime, only 26 years old.

what needs to happen is the flyers need to move versteeg, possibley hartnell,and re-sign powe, nodl, and some how find a power forward for a reasonable price. i also can see carle getting moved to make some cap space than the flyers grabbing a vetran dman later in the season at a cheaper price. would be nice to see matt read ready to play next year, likely get some games in mid-way through the season.

a trade i would love to see is versteeg for cal clutterbuck, led the league in hits the last 3 years and scores about 15-20 goals. would likely need to sweeten the pot but he is the type of player we need.

May 30, 2011 10:53 am

Here’s what I know about Jeff Carter
In 47 Career Playoff games over 5 Playoff Appearances by the Flyers.
Carter has 13 Goals and 8 Assists for 21 Total Points and a
whopping -14 minus in the Plus/Minus Category so the theory that Carter is a good 2-way player doesn’t hold water in my opinion.. He’s a big sissy in my book and not worthy of his contract and needs to be moved …

May 30, 2011 2:05 pm

yes the same jeff carter who has 181 goals, 162 assist, and is plus 61 over 461 games. not saying he has been stelar in the playoffs but last year i recall him being very good having only one leg half the time and the same this year. anyone can read the box score and come up with a theory. i am not saying i am right but i think if you really put him under the microscope you would see how effective he is with and without the puck. i bet there are 29 other teams in the league who would love to have him on their team at his price. and not to mention this year he played the wing which is out of position for him, but he was effective. i say he is producing at what the market value says he should be.

if carter was to be traded his return better equal 35 plus goals every year. this team does not need to trade for potential right now as they have to win in the next 1-2 years or it will get very messy trying to balance youth and vetrans against the cap.

my question for you paulman where do you find a replacement with equal or better to his production with an average of 5.27 mil over the next 2 years while the flyers are trying to make a run for the cup?

May 30, 2011 2:50 pm

I will do some research and get back to you with possible replacements for Carter but to me Hockey is about what kind of production and heart does a player have during the most improtatnt part of the Season which is in the Post-Season..His regular Season stats are good but he disappears too often in the playoffs. in Hickey where 1/2 th eteams make the Playoffs, the Regualr Season is watered down and it really doesnt mean much where an overall team or even players finish as far as wins.points,goals,etc,etc… It’s what the teams and players do come playoff time that matters and Carter embodies what the Flyers have become over the last 20-25 years.. an Underachiever.
The Flyers and their players with Owner Ed Snider continue to get a free-pass from the local media and fans every seasdon which probably helps contributes to them being the most Overrated Sports Organization in Philly by far..

May 30, 2011 3:33 pm

I noticed a pattern by Paulman. It goes a little something like this…..

“The Flyers and their players with Owner Ed Snider continue to get a free-pass from the local media and fans every season”

“The Philllies and their players with Owner Dave Montgomery continue to get a free-pass from the local media and fans every season”

“The Eagles and their players with Owner Jeffrey Lurie continue to get a free-pass from the local media and fans every season”

“The 76ers and their players with Owner Ed Snider continue to get a free-pass from the local media and fans every season”

May 30, 2011 3:53 pm

Wrong Sports Bum,
The Only Franchise that get’s a continual free pass is the Overrated Flyers since all the local media are chicken shit to challenge Ed Snider for it appears he intimidates the local media for some damn reason. I have been consistent with this criticism of the Flyers and Ed Snider for years…
All the other Teams/Franchises probably get hammered a little too much and a little too often and definitely get no free pass from media or fans alike..

May 30, 2011 4:20 pm

Dude, you have been saying that the Phillies get a free pass since the beginning of the season, saying the Braves are gonna win the NL East. You said before about the Eagles getting a free pass. The only team I haven’t heard you say it about was the 76ers, but that is the only pro sport of our that we all know isn’t gonna win a championship anytime soon, so you don’t focus all your hate on them to try to get us to hate them too. Because we all know that you are far from a Philly fan, and you are just a troll here to hate on all our teams and annoy us because you live a pathetic life and this is your only way to make you feel better about yourself and your life.

May 30, 2011 7:23 pm

Wrong again Sports Bum
I have stated since the off-season and spring training that the Phils were Overhyped and Overrated and that they were an old team,with injuries waiting to happen and that they are not built to win a 115-120 games with this weak of a batting line-up and simply cakewalk thru the regular Season like 90% of the Local Media and Fans said they would. I still stand by my statements
But the Phils/Eagles do not get a free pass like the boys in Orange do,
I never stated that or believe that, fans are quick to be critical of the Eagles,Phils, and Sixers.. Flyers Owner E Snider is feared by many in the Philly local media and very few ever question his decisions about the
direction of the Flyer Franchise and it’s been that way for 30 years..
The Difference between me and many other “Philly” Fans is that I follow the entire sport, the other teams players and coaches and not just my home town team, I don’t blindly listen to the National/Local Media to get my information or learn about the expectations of the clubs.. I follow the Philly teams compeititors, the top players and coaches, the locker room,drafting and developing talent,etc,et,c to form my own opinions about learning about skill and talent levels of the Philly teams & their Rivals and Compeititors
All the Philly teams are my favorites and who I root for, but I don’t do it blindly like others do, I will call them as I see them and are always keeping an eye on what their competition is doing and right now is a pretty damn good time to be a Philly Sports fan with all the Success that all the teams are having and maybe I expect a little too much but I just can’t stand how the Philly faithful and Local media are so naive about what other teams are doing or how they continuall set unrealistic expectations about their home town teams.. Players have 2-3 good games and all of a sudden, the player is a All-Star/MVP or a Player has a good season or 2 and all of a sudden he”s a future HOF…Philly Fans definitely tend to overrate their own teams and athletes and maybe every city does to a certain extent, but it’s definitely worse in Philly and I have to call people out on it when I see,read or hear about it…

May 31, 2011 12:50 am

Paulman, I’d like to see your assessment on who could replace Carter. Bottom line is that he’s great for us in the regular season and disappears in the playoffs. Just hit me right now…. I believe its 100% because of his physicality…. his disappearing act. He is scared out there but isn’t challenged during the regular season to man-up and grow a set by the competition.

May 31, 2011 8:52 am

i wouldn’t give up on carter yet. carter is a winner and has championships to back it up. his stats may make him look like a loser in the playoffs but take him off this team and there is a big hole to fill. lets look at joe thornton, everyone called him out for disapearing in the playoffs but the last couple everyone knows he has been a machine. i would say carter could be on the same path as him. 26 years old and has scored 4 straight 30 plus goal seasons, you don’t trade this guy away. i think moving carle along with versteeg will get a goalie and give some cap space and than add a dman late in the season.