As the last-place Los Angeles Kings look to add more youth to their roster, veteran Jeff Carter is among the veterans who have heard their names surface in trade rumours.
Carter, who is without a no-trade clause and carries a $5.27 million cap hit through 2021-22, told The Athletic he is not interested in leaving Hollywood.
“When you’re not winning, that’s the nature of the beast,” Carter said. “We’ll see what happens. Obviously, I don’t want to go anywhere.
“I’ve been traded before – a couple of times.”
The two-time Stanley Cup champion was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011, and from the Blue Jackets to the Kings eight months later when it became clear he wouldn't be re-signing in Ohio.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reported last week that due to his back-diving contract, Carter could decide to retire after this season if he's moved by the Kings.
“It’s the first time in my career I’ve had a family and kids, so it changes it,” Carter told The Athletic. “Like I said, I can’t really control much of that. When you’re not winning games, that’s how it goes.
“I’ve been on teams like that before. We’ll see.”
Through 35 games this season, Carter has six goals and 15 points while averaging 18:38 of ice time. McKenzie added last week that the Boston Bruins and Arizona Coyotes could be among the teams with interest in the forward.
"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 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.