Despite talks, Carle could test free agency
Paul Holmgren has been saying for a while now that he is confident the Flyers are going to re-sign veteran defenseman Matt Carle.
The general manager may have to rethink his position just three days from free agency.
Agent Kurt Overhardt said Thursday night he wouldn’t be “surprised” if his client is available come Sunday at noon, although he remains “positive” in his contract talks with the Flyers.
“He’s still very interested in remaining a Flyer,” Overhardt said from Colorado, after phone discussions with Holmgren on Thursday still did not produce a new deal with the clock ticking now.
“We continue to talk to them but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is available on July 1. But we’re going to continue to talk to the Flyers. Just move forward accordingly.”
Holmgren could not be reached for comment.
Carle did not have any comment.
Overhardt was reacting to a tweet from ESPN.com saying his client would probably test free agency.
“[Carle’s] had a great career with the Flyers, we have a lot of respect for them and Matt would like to continue to have a great career and we’re going to leave it at that,” Overhardt said.
As for talks themselves, “It’s still positive,” he said. “If there was no chance after July 1, would tell you.”
What changed here?
Well, probably the outrageous offer Calgary GM Jay Feaster gave Dennis Wideman, after trading for him this week.
Wideman signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract with annual cap hit of $5.25 million. If Wideman is worth that much, Carle has to be worth at least $5.50 million and the Flyers obviously were looking to come in closer to $5 million.
Carle earned $3.43 million this season.
The Flyers head into free agency this weekend likely still looking to bulk up on the back end where they are better with the addition of Luke Schenn, not as strong as they need to be.
If the Flyers lose Carle in free agency, they’re really up against it unless they can pull off a deal for a true impact player such as Shea Weber (Nashville), a restricted free agent, who doesn’t appear headed anywhere right now.
Nashville’s Ryan Suter? He could end up in Pittsburgh, Minnesota or Detroit. Pens GM Ray Shero thinks he can convince Suter to jump to the Eastern Conference based on his relationship with him when Shero was assistant GM in Nashville.
Shero is also looking to sign forward Zach Parise. There have been numerous internet rumors that Suter and Parise want to play together.
Given Pittsburgh extended Sidney Crosby long-term today at the same salary he was making, it’s obvious Shero is going to make a big-time play this weekend. E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org