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Meet Anson Carter! ... the Nikolai Zherdev replacement?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Haha! Oh, wow. I'm not sure what to think here. With Zherdev's time winding down before the start of training camp, MacLean continued to talk more and more about the possibility of going back into the free agent market in search of someone who could plug the hole that the Blue Jackets would have if a deal was not made with our feisty Russian forward.

Of course with MacLean's history in the free agent market this off-season, no one really expected he'd do anything big. He'd probably find some random forward who hadn't played for a year, or some minor league player who hadn't had a chance in the NHL yet, and throw him to the lions.

But, no. What did Dougy do? He signed Anson Carter.

The contract (which for once actually has terms disclosed) is for one year, and amounts to $2.5 million. This is actually $500K less than what was being bandied around the league that Carter was looking for. Much of that difference in what he wanted and what he got most likely has to do with just how close to the start of training camp it is right now, and Carter's desire to play at the start of a season, let alone at the start of the pre-season.

Now let's put Carter's accolades into perspective. He's had a bit of an on again-off again history with his season points output, with the difference between his 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 seasons being a decent example of how he can reach the some pretty high levels of output, but can be shut down as well.

Another issue to keep in mind is that he's only been able to finish one season back in 2001-02 with all 82 regular season games under his belt, as well as a near-perfect 81 game attendance record last season. Does this mean he's a liability? Well, it's a possibility, but I wouldn't say so.

The one-year deal that Carter will be getting makes sense, as well as cents. What we see is most likely what we get from Carter, seeing as he is 32 years young at this point in his career. I'm not so sure that I would have seen any better output from Zherdev this season than I saw last season, in large part because of his inability play defense when needed, as well as a lack of rounding in his game. Carter, meanwhile, is nearly 50/50 when it comes to his points being dispersed between goals and assists.

I do know one thing, though ... when I go down to the start of training camp this Friday, I can't wait to see him in action with the other guys.

Edit (5:17 PM EST): I do want to add, concerning the comment about Zherdev and his kind of output. Even though Zherdev does actually have more assists than goals (48 to 40), it isn't so much what amounts for most of his points, but the way in which he plays. One of the key issues last season (and Rick Nash was also guilty of this often enough) was selfishness with the puck. Carter, to my knowledge, does not have this sort of issue. And if he does, it isn't as detrimental or noticable.
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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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