The Flyers and Jeff Carter have reportedly agreed on a three-year deal worth $15 million. Carter, a centre, had 29 goals and 24 assists last season and was a plus-6, while Kostitsyn had 26 goals and 27 assists and was plus-15."
That excerpt is from Saturday's Montreal Gazette, and while Habs fans no doubt winced at the Carter deal in light of what it might mean in terms of their team resigning the elder Kostitsyn brother (or "Big Tits," as we're going to call him from now on), Caps fans probably are wondering what it might mean for their team's top RFA forward, Brooks Laich.
A quick look at the career and 2007-08 numbers:
- Carter: 225 career games played, 66 goals, 66 assists, -1; 82 games played, 29 goals, 24 assist, +6 in 2007-08
- Laich: 233 career games played, 36 goals, 41 assists, -15; 82 games played, 21 goals, 16 assist, -3 in 2007-08
To be clear, Brooks Laich isn't Jeff Carter. But when you have neutral third parties pegging Laich's salary in the $1.3 million or $1.75 million range and then word of the Carter deal comes in, you can see why the Caps and Laich haven't been able to reach an agreement yet. Is Brooks Laich worth, say, half as much as Jeff Carter? Reasonable minds might disagree on that, but you can bet that the player and his agent think so, and if the Caps don't, someone else very well might. And if that salary is the difference between keeping Mike Green and letting him go, I think you'll be bidding adieu to Laich.