This has puffy shirt written all over it. I imagine the meeting between Jeff Carter, his agent, and Paul Holmgren – when Homer allegedly said Carts wasn't going anywhere – went something like the dinner in which Jerry agreed to where a pirate shirt. Perhaps Carts didn't understand Homer. Or maybe Homer is just a low talker. Or a liar… Whatever the case may be, the end result is Carts heading to Columbus, whether he likes it or not: [Columbus Dispatch via Puck Daddy]
Four days later, Jeff Carter has yet to make any public statement. As of Saturday, he had not spoken directly to any member of the Blue Jackets, including GM Scott Howson. The only known contact is a brief exchange of text messages with captain Rick Nash.
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.
Multiple sources from around the NHL have confirmed today that a Blue Jackets contingent, led by GM Scott Howson, is traveling to meet with newly-acquired center Jeff Carter today.
One source indicated that majority owner John P. McConnell and captain Rick Nash are with Howson, that they were traveling to Philadelphia. Neither Howson nor Nash immediately responded to text messages from The Dispatch seeking comment.
The former One Seven is obviously crushed by the trade. If the reaction of Mike Richards is any indication (Richie told Ted Sobel that him and his best friend wanted to play together for their entire careers), Carts is devastated by the move. Richie will at least go to sunny California. Carts is heading to Columbus. Eeesh.
UPDATE: Carts speaks, from Sea Isle:
“It’s been a tough couple of days,” Carter said. “I spent six years in Philadelphia. I think so highly of the organization. It was a real shot to me.
“My decision to not talk had absolutely nothing to do with being traded to Columbus. I know it’s a team that has struggled in the past, but there’s a great future there, a lot of young players. I’m excited to be there.”
Our spy in Sea Isle told me that Carts was joined by his father this weekend, and that the two spent time boating. Man, this whole saga has Ryan Gosling undertones, too.
Part of the blame here has to fall on Holmgren. Putting aside feelings about the trade – both positive and negative – Homer may quickly be developing a reputation as a hit-man. Flyers Faithful does a nice job of pointing out Homer's recent string of whacking (Christ, this is turning into a mob flick), which now includes offing the captain and leading scorer- both were guys the organization had been grooming for the last half decade.
If Homer really did tell Carter and his agent, Rick Curran, that One Seven wasn't on the block, that doesn't reflect well on him or the organization. Whatever happened behind the scenes, which had to be substantial enough to swap the captain for a rookie and some cap space, shouldn't excuse the treatment Richards and Carter. Both players signed decade-long contracts to play here. They deserved better.
June 13th: [Philly Sports Daily]
A report from the Columbus Dispatch says that the Blue Jackets have had discussions with the Flyers about the No. 8 overall pick in the draft that begins on June 24, but also mentioned the talks may have gone so far as to a potential trade for Jeff Carter that would bring the rights to restricted free agent to-be Jakub Voracek with the first-round pick.
However, Carter’s agent, Rick Curran, tells Philly Sports Daily that he thinks his client’s future is here in Philadelphia.
“I’ve spoken with Paul [Holmgren] a number of times and am not concerned about the rumors,” Curran said. “That’s just what they are.”
June 22nd, the day before Carter was traded: [Philly Sports Daily]
Speaking of speculation and rumors, one of the possible moves to clear cap space is to trade Jeff Carter. Speculation of a trade involving the Columbus Blue Jackets has heightened in both cities over the past few days, but Carter’s agent told Philly Sports Daily on Wednesday that nothing has changed and he still expects his client to be a Flyer next season.
Homer, of course, denies this version of the meeting(s?). He said: "I was in the room and I'm not sure I would word it that way."
Whatever. Not only did Homer trade away the two faces of the franchise, the perception – whether real or fake – is that he's a backstabber. There's a difference between business and just flat out being an asshole. Judging by Carts' reaction, or lack thereof, I'm going to go with the latter.
Of course, it's now time for Carts to man up, too. I'd move to Columbus for $58 million… even though I don't want to be a pirate, either.