ST. PAUL, Minn. -- If you have been looking for a reason, aside from sheer disappointment, that Jeff Carter has yet to publicly address his stunning trade to Columbus on Thursday, listen to his agent.
Carter’s agent, Philadelphia based Rick Curran, told the Columbus Dispatch on Friday that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren lied to Carter earlier in the week in a face-to-face meeting.
“He is disappointed,” Curran said on Friday morning in the Minneapolis Hilton lobby. “But that’s no reflection of Columbus. It’s more that he made a commitment to Philadelphia.”
Curran said that commitment started three years ago when his client was presented with an offer sheet when he was a restricted free agent. Carter declined.
“He had the opportunity to go somewhere on an offer sheet,” Curran said. “The Flyers told him that he would be one of their cornerstone players.”
Then, last November, in the final year of his 3-year, $15 million deal, the Flyers approached Carter to sign a long-term deal.
“They said that they would need some help on the AAV [average annual value] of the deal [a longer deal to produce a lower cap number],” Curran said. “He said that he liked it here [in Philadelphia] and liked his teammates. He said that if they wanted him, he would make the commitment.”
Carter, 26, inked an 11-year, $58 million deal on Nov. 13, 2010. He surely could have earned more on the open market. Instead, Carter did what he could to stay in Philly.
Last summer, he purchased a new beach house in Sea Isle City, N.J., fully expecting to be in the area for the duration of his career. That all changed on Thursday, when his life was turned upside down on Friday.
His no-trade clause was set to kick in on July 1, 2012.
The shocking part is that Carter and Holmgren met face-to-face earlier in the week, to discuss the apparent rumors, and Holmgren re-assured Carter he was not being moved.
Carter had long been discussed as an option for the Flyers to move once they acquired Ilya Bryzgalov’s rights on June 7. It was apparent that they would need to move a significant chunk of salary in order to sign the free agent goaltender. Carter’s cap number was the only fit.
“Jeff called me and asked about the rumors two weeks ago,” Curran said. “He figured teams were asking about him anyways. I called Paul and I asked him if this is something we should be concerned about.
“Paul assured me that there was nothing to worry about, that they weren’t interested in trading Jeff. He told me that Jeff could come in and meet with him to tell him the same things. And he did. He assured him that they weren’t trading him.”
Rumored or not, you can imagine Carter’s shock when he heard about the trade on Thursday.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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