Sitting last in the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings are expected to begin a roster overhaul to insert more youth into the team's aging roster before the trade deadline.
One veteran who could be on the move for Los Angeles is two-time Stanley Cup champion Jeff Carter. However, TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie said Thursday that trading Carter could be a gamble for the acquiring team, and the Kings.
"One of those veteran players the Kings have that could be attractive to teams looking for offence is Jeff Carter, the 33-year-old centre/winger who has the ability to put the puck in the net," McKenzie said on Insider Trading. "Whether it’s Boston or Arizona or any of the other teams out there looking for forwards, that might be the type of player that would be of interest to them. Now it’s interesting, he’s got three years left on his contract after this year, $5.27 million cap hit – that’s manageable, even more manageable is the fact that he’s only owed $7 million cash for the final three seasons in one of those old back-diving contracts.
"He doesn’t have no-trade protection, he loves it in L.A. and would love to stay. If he does get traded somewhere he doesn’t want to go, retirement could be an option for him. That’s why he signed that back-diving contract – he’s only leaving $7 million on the table. If he did retire, there is a cap recapture penalty that would hit the LA Kings at $3.75 million in each of the next three years."
Carter's cap hit sits at $5.27 million through 2021-22, but his actual salary will drop from $5 million to $3 million next season and then to just $2 million in the final two years on the deal.