Now I know most of you will start critisizing me right off the hop, but here me out. Let me say that I in no way feel that Simon Gagne is a better and more valuable player than Carter. Carter is younger, more talented and has a phenomenal wrist shot. Now everyone is probably saying "well if you're saying he's so good then ahy trade him?", well that is what I am going to discuss now.
First off, we are all awhere of the overload of quality centres on the Flyers' roster. We have Danny Briere, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter who are all capable of playing first line centre minutes, and than Claude Giroux (only as of now) who can play second line centre minutes. I compare this situation to that of the Penguins and Bruins. Pittsburgh has three centres who are all capable of playing on the first line in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal. Then you've got the Bruins who have three great centres in David Kreijci, Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard, and now future start centre Tyler Seguin. Now I'm not going analyze these teams, but do you see the comparisent? Jeff Carter could bring us a good goalie, a good prospect and a high draft pick, much like Staal could for the Pens, and Savard could for the B's.
Secondly, as I mentioned before, Carter has greater trade value than Gagne. The Flyers could get so much more for Carter than they could for Gagne. Lets say one of them is going to the Kings. In Gagne's case, I suspect we get perhaps Wayne Simmonds and a descent prospect. Now in Carter's case, I believe we could get Jonathan Bernier, Simmonds and a good prospect (perhaps Moller) or a high draft pick. We could get a young goalie with tons of potential, energy winger and a good prospect to help out the Phantoms, who desperately need help.
Lastly, I don't know why everyone keeps saying "Gagne is one hit in the head away from retirement". Guys honestly, he had one season on concussions and it was almost three years ago, and I'm pretty sure he has taken some pretty good hits since then (remember Anton Volchenkov's hit one him?). That's like saying Briere is one groin strain away from permanently damaging himself, or Carter is a broken foot away from never being to walk again (which is just as possible as Gagne retiring due to another concussion). Gagne had injuries this year, but they weren't concussion related, plus he battled through them excellantly. Does anyone remember when he came back against Boston in Game 4 two weeks early? How he came into the Wachovia Center on crutches and won the game for us in overtime, and ended up leading us to the comeback against Boston with 4 goals in 4 games and 2 game winners. When Carter came back early he was garbage. I still give Carter lots of credit, but Gagne played much better.
This is what I'm saying: too many centres, more trade value and just as possible of getting injured. Theses things could all lead to Carter getting traded. I love Carter and think he is a phenomenal player, but in my opinion he is the one to go. Another reason maybe for future cap issues, when he and Gagne are up for new contracts, who do you think is going to deman more, obviously Carter. So trade Carter and get something for him while he still has tremendous trade value and not an overly large size contract.