Rumors are swirling that Jeff Carter may be on the trading block (h/t Edmonton Journal). The rumor claims that the Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets are working on a trade, the core of which is Carter and this year's 2012 first round pick to Toronto for Mikhail Grabovski and Luke Schenn.
It would be a weird trade proposal. The Maple Leafs need that big top line centre to put them over the hump, and Jeff Carter seems like the ideal solution. However, Brian Burke is not a big fan of the type of contract that Jeff Carter signed. It was a front-loaded deal that has him making $2-$3 million per year in the last three years. Furthermore, he has 10 years left on his contract! He is currently 27, and he will be 37 when the contract expires.
The second issue is that the Leafs would be giving up Luke Schenn and Mikhail Grabovski. Grabovski is the only player from the Grabovski-Kulemin-MacArthur line that has played like he did last year. MacArthur has also done well, but is not racking up the assists like he did last year. He and Schenn are quite outstanding players that the Leafs fan base would object to losing. However, it's not like Burke cares that much, so why would it matter?
The final nail in the coffin is Nail Yakupov. The Blue Jackets will almost certainly have the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. This gives them a shot at Nail. However, if they deal this pick the Leafs get a chance to get Nail. So Columbus will get rid of quite possibly the worst contract in the NHL, but to do it they must give up a potential franchise player and take back only Schenn and an expiring contract in Grabovski. Face it, he won't resign, he may just go back to Toronto in the offseason.
In conclusion, this would be a terrible deal for Columbus. Toronto might like it as they get a shot at Yakupov without having to sacrifice the season, but they would have Carter for 10 years!
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