The Hockey News -- Rumor Roundup: Flyers Ready to Shuffle the Deck?
[T]he additional year on Michael Leighton's current contract could make Boucher the odd man out of the Flyers’ goalie tandem. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal offered a suggestion for the Flyers to improve their goaltending: trade center Jeff Carter to the Minnesota Wild for Niklas Backstrom, or to the L.A. Kings in exchange for Jonathan Quick. Matheson pointed out the Wild weren't winning with Backstrom, who will earn $6 million next season, and badly need more offense. The only problem with that theory is trading away Backstrom for Carter leaves the Wild without a quality starting goaltender, meaning they'll be trading one problem for another. Quick has established himself as the Kings starting goalie, but there's a belief he’ll face a serious challenge from backup Jonathan Bernier next season, not to mention speculation Kings management sees Bernier as the future starter. Carter would certainly provide a boost to the Kings’ first line, but GM Dean Lombardi would have to consider the ramifications of taking on Carter’s 11-year, $58 million contract.
Because this was written by Lyle Richardson, I can't dismiss this rumor out of hand. But I would add that (1) I did not know -- and I'm not sure I buy -- that "there's a belief" that Bernier will give Quick a "serious challenge" next year; (2) speculation that Bernier is the goalie of the future is such old news that it's in kindergarten now; (3) the "ramifications" Lombardi would have to consider would include dumping a lot more salary that Quick's $1.8MM; say, another $3-3.5MM worth, as the Kings will be close to the ceiling this year just by signing their RFAs; (4) there is a rumor that won't die about locker-room poison, involving Carter and I forget who else; I barely pay attention to such things. But if there's fire to go with that smoke, I would expect Lombardi, who traded Sean Avery and Mike Cammalleri, and didn't trade for Dany Heatley, to steer clear; (5) the Kings already have a first line center; (6) the Kings have more centers than they know what to do with (Anze Kopitar, Jarret Stoll, Trevor Lewis, Brad Richardson, Andrei Loktionov, Brayden Schenn); it would be weird for Lombardi to tie up the two top-six forward positions for the next several years; (7) it's not really Lombardi's style to destabilize the back-end by suddenly thrusting Jonathan Bernier (who he's brought along very slowly) into the limelight; the Kings' goalie situation is literally the best it's ever been (okay, that Rogie fellow was pretty good, but in terms of tandems...). Why mess with that, especially since Lombardi believes you build a team from the goalie outward?; (8) Jeff Carter isn't injured, is he? Lombardi only goes for players recovering from injury. This is why Zach Parise makes so much more sense...
But what do I know. The trade will probably happen this afternoon.