NHL Trade Rumors: Would You Trade for Jeff Carter?

Mark FischerContributor IIFebruary 5, 2012

MONTREAL, CANADA - DECEMBER 6:  Jeff Carter #7 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on December 6, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Blue Jackets defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

As the February 27th NHL deadline approaches, general managers across the league are phoning their counterparts, hoping to either improve their team in hopes of a lengthy playoff run, or build up their prospect pool, if a playoff spot is out of reach.

One guy who can't seem to escape the rumor spotlight is Columbus Blue Jackets' center, Jeff Carter.

With the Blue Jackets' continuous struggles, despite the firing of head coach Scott Arniel, more changes are expected in Columbus—and fast.

Carter, who was dealt from the Flyers to the Jackets last offseason, simply has not lived up to hefty expectations in Ohio. Granted injuries have taken a toll on the 27-year-old—he's missed 21 games due to lingering shoulder and foot injuries—his production has been mediocre at best.

In addition, there's his suggested  "unhappiness" in Columbus, making one foolish to deny that there is at least a slim chance Carter gets traded.

So let me pose this question to you: Would you trade for Jeff Carter?

There's no doubt he has skill—he's registered 30 or more goals in three straight seasons.

Though, there are two factors among others, that make general managers skeptical of acquiring Carter.

One is his lengthy, outrageous contract. Carter is on the books until 2022. Though his cap-hit of $5.272 million may be considered cap-friendly for someone of his caliber, committing to a player for the next 10 years is always dangerous. Just look at Islanders' goaltender Rick DiPietro—signed to a mega-deal in 2006, yet has suited up for just 42 games in the past three seasons.

Second, is his attitude. With reports of his "unhappiness" in Columbus (see link above) and reports of a hardcore partying lifestyle in Philadelphia, who knows if the London, Ontario native would be a good fit for any team.

However, what would be the asking price for Carter? Would a young roster player, a B/C rated prospect  and a high draft pick get the job done? Or would a team need to add a bit more to the pot?

Would you take a chance on this disgruntled center?