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Penguins’ Charms Worked; Carter Re-Ups For Two Years

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Jeff Carter, Marc-Andre Fleury

It was only a couple weeks ago that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jeff Carter was talking about extending his career, and now he’s poised to do that. The team announced Wednesday that he has signed a contract extension for the next two years. The deal carries a salary cap of $3.125 million.

Carter, 37, will be getting a raise. He has a cap hit of a little more than $2.6 million this season. He had been eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. Bob McKenzie of TSN reported that the breakdown will be a $3.25 million in 2022-23 and $3 million in 2023-24, and that Carter has a full no-movement clause in the deal for both seasons. That would still be considered a favorable deal for the Penguins given his role.

Previously, Carter, who was acquired during last season in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, seemed like a candidate to retire sooner rather than later. But being with the Penguins has helped renew his desire to keep playing. Certainly, the Penguins recent surge — six straight wins and 17 wins in their past 19 games — would seem like an enticement to re-sign so he can chase a third Stanley Cup. He won two with LA.

He has 14 goals, 26 points in 36 games this season and has been valuable as a second-line center, a third-line center and even at times a winger.

Getting Carter under contract with cost certainty will help the Penguins looking ahead to next season, especially with Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Bryan Rust all in their final contract seasons.

Here is the news release from the Penguins:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Jeff Carter on a two-year contract extension, it was announced today by general manager Ron Hextall.

The deal begins in the 2022-23 season and runs through the 2023-24 campaign and carries an average annual value of $3.125 million.

“Jeff’s experience and versatility have made him a valuable addition to our team,” said Penguins general manager Ron Hextall.  “In addition to his on-ice contributions, his team-first attitude has made him a leader inside our locker room and we are happy to have him under contract for two more years.”

Carter, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with Los Angeles in 2012 and ’14, has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Penguins after being acquired from the Kings on April 12, 2021. In 50 regular-season games with Pittsburgh, Carter registered 21 goals, 16 assists and 37 points. Since joining Pittsburgh, only Jake Guentzel (24) has more goals on the Penguins than Carter, and his 36 points rank fourth on the team during that span.

This season, Carter ranks third on the Penguins with 12 goals, while his 26 points (12G-14A) in 36 games are sixth on Pittsburgh. He had the distinction of becoming the seventh active player to reach 400 NHL goals when he scored his first goal of the season on Oct. 14 in Florida, and then later cracked the NHL’s top-100 all-time goals list when he scored twice in Chicago on Nov. 9. He’s also reached the 10-goal plateau in all 17 seasons that he’s played. Only Joe Thornton (18) has accomplished this feat more among active players.

Prior to his time with the Penguins, the two-time NHL All-Star (2009, ’17) played parts of 16 seasons with the Kings (2012-21), Philadelphia Flyers (2005-11) and Columbus Blue Jackets (2011-12). In total, Carter has recorded 788 career points (411G-377A), including 115 power-play goals, 18 shorthanded goals and 85 game-winning goals in 1,130 career NHL games.

Since his NHL debut during the 2005-06 season, Carter’s 85 game-winning goals and 411 total goals rank second and eighth, respectively, among all NHL players. The four-time 30-goal scorer had his best season in 2008-09 with the Flyers when he recorded career highs in goals (46), assists (38) and points (84) in 82 games. Carter led the NHL in game-winning goals during the 2008-09 (12) and ’12-13 (8) seasons.

The 6-foot-3, 219-pound forward helped the Kings to the 2012 Stanley Cup Championship with an NHL-high eight playoff goals (tied), including the Stanley Cup-clinching goal. During the Kings’ run to the 2014 Stanley Cup, Carter’s 10 goals and 25 points in 26 playoff games both ranked second in the league.

In 126 career playoff games split between the Penguins, Kings and Flyers, Carter has accumulated 43 goals, 36 assists and 79 points.

A native of London, ON, Carter won a gold medal at the 2014 Olympics with Sidney Crosby and Team Canada, where he had five points (3G-2A) in six games. He has also represented Canada at two World Junior Championships in 2004 (Silver Medal) and ’05 (Gold Medal), as well as the 2006 World Championship.

Carter was originally drafted in the first round (11th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.

 

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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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Jeff Young
Jeff Young
3 months ago

With the cap going up by (maybe) $1M next year, I don’t see how you keep (most of the) the band together longer term and improve this year for a Cup run. This year, maybe you get a better backup goalie… but what else can be afforded? Longer term, Geno will have to take less than Sid’s AAV and that difference mostly goes to Letang to keep him longer term. But Dumo is up soon and you gotta find money for that. Rust needs an extension so you either let Kapanen walk after the season or get what you can… Read more »

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
3 months ago

Excellent signing.

Ujn Hunter
3 months ago

Love the big guy!

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