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Would Jeff Carter make sense for the Bruins?

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TSN Insider Darren Dreger connected Jeff Carter to the Bruins in a radio hit, saying the Bruins are looking for an “experienced player.”

Vancouver Canucks v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

With the Bruins struggling to find secondary scoring over the first month and a half of the season, there have been all sorts of trade rumors floating around online.

Some have linked the Bruins to Artemi Panarin of the Blue Jackets. Others have brought up the idea of trading for Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds. The idea of trading for Maple Leafs RFA William Nylander has even been discussed. Now, the latest player to be linked to the Bruins is Kings forward Jeff Carter.

TSN’s Darren Dreger appeared on Toronto’s TSN 1050 this morning and said the Bruins have been in the trade market since the start of the season. His dialogue regarding the Bruins was documented by Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey.

“But when I look at Boston, I want to connect them to an underachieving team like Los Angeles, maybe. I don’t know what Jeff Carter’s contract looks like with the no-moves, no-trades, all of that kind of stuff. But I know Jeff Carter knows how to win, and I think he’s got enough left in his tank that he could help somebody. And obviously the Los Angeles Kings need to get a little bit younger and quicker, so maybe there’s a trade fit there.”

To clarify, Carter does not have any trade protection on his current contract, which runs through the 2021-2022 season and carries a $5.27 million AAV.

Dreger continued with this:

“I think that type of piece - a centerman - is something that Boston would like to add in the weeks and months ahead.”

It should be noted that Dreger—and all the other NHL insiders—do radio hits like this all the time. Ideas get tossed around and names get thrown out there. It is entirely possible that Dreger was likely just speculating. However, Dreger is a pretty prominent figure, so he may have some information that others don’t. Who really knows?

While we should take all trade rumors with a grain of salt, it’s still worth wondering if this would make sense for the Bruins.

Carter, 33, is currently second on the Kings with ten points through 16 games. He is averaging 18:43 time on ice per game, his highest since the 2013-2014 season, and is third on the team with a 55.86 faceoff win percentage.

So, he’s off to a good start, but the Kings’ disappointing start as a whole has overshadowed the strong play of, well, all of their players.

Furthermore, Carter is just two seasons removed from a 32-goal, 66-point season. He has hit the 60-point plateau in three of his last four seasons.

He only had 22 points last season, but he was limited to just 27 games after a cut to his leg put him on the shelf for four months. Could he have reached the 60-point threshold again? The world will never know.

Clearly, Carter can still produce. However, there’s always a risk factor that comes along with trading for an aging veteran with a high salary. Would he come here and not fit in? Would he come here and not produce? There’s all sorts of questions to ask.

Also, the Bruins already have an aging veteran who isn’t producing in David Backes, so why run the risk of potentially adding another?

If the Bruins truly are looking for an experienced player, Carter certainly fits the bill. He’s tallied 356 goals and 682 points over his 13-year career and has won two Stanley Cups.

Carter’s versatility might appeal to the Bruins as well. They might like the idea of Carter centering the third line behind Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Or, they might like the idea of trying Carter out on Krejci’s right side.

It definitely wouldn’t be cheap to acquire Carter from the Kings. No one trades consistent 60-point scorers for nothing.

The Bruins would almost certainly have to give up one of their coveted young forwards (think Anders Bjork, Ryan Donato, or Danton Heinen) and a first-round pick. It might even take another prospect and/or roster player to fit whatever asking price the Kings come up with.

Would the Bruins be able to persuade the Kings to take Backes off their hands? Considering Backes currently has zero points and a full no-move clause this season, it’s highly unlikely. Would LA consider it if the Bruins sweeten the pot with a prospect and high draft pick? Trade speculation is a fun thing.

There’s a few reasons why Carter might not make sense for the Bruins right now. First, they may not be interested in trading a first-round pick two years in a row. Second, they may not want to deal away a young player, only to watch said young player light it up in LA. Finally, adding another high-priced player to the mix could throw off the upcoming contract negotiations with Brandon Carlo, Jake Debrusk, Charlie McAvoy, among others.

Again, Dreger was likely just speculating, but it’s still interesting to talk about. Carter has experience and could add a lot to a team with Stanley Cup aspirations. He could solidify the third line or slide into the top-six. He’s shown he can still produce at a high rate, when healthy, obviously.

Carter knows what it takes to win, and the idea of adding him to the mix sounds nice, but the Bruins might want to think twice before trading for him. He’s 33, is a year removed from a significant injury, and might not be the best option available on the market.

Acquiring Carter could also lead to another Backes situation, where the deal is fine for the first season or two, but it becomes a nuisance in the later years. The situation with Backes is already inconvenient as it is, so the Bruins should avoid adding a similar player who could just end up being stashed on the fourth line.

Also, the Bruins currently have $3.83 million in cap space, so they’d have to shed some salary in a deal for Carter, which is never easy.

This seems like one of those deals where it would just take too much maneuvering to make it happen.

Poll

What do you think Bruins fans, should the B’s trade for Jeff Carter?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Yes, he would be a good fit.
    (88 votes)
  • 56%
    No, that’s a bad idea waiting to happen.
    (538 votes)
  • 33%
    Maybe, depending on the price/package.
    (321 votes)
947 votes total Vote Now