Matt Carle - Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Potential UFA Du Jour : Matt Carle, Philadelphia Flyers

POTENTIAL UFA:  Matt Carle

2011-12 TEAM:  Philadelphia Flyers

POSITION:  Defence

DOB:  25 SEP 84 (will be 28 on October 1)

2011-12 NUMBERS:  4-34-38, 36 PIM (+4)

2011-12 CAP: $3,437,500

2011-12 SALARY:  $3.8M

THE FACTS

Six foot, 205-lb Matt Carle was born in Anchorage, Alaska.  Drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the ’03 NHL Draft, Carle played in parts of three seasons with the Sharks before being shuffled off  to Tampa Bay in the 2008 offseason.  He’d get just a dozen games in a Lightning uniform before being dealt to Philadelphia in a deal that saw Steve Eminger and Steve Downie come to Tampa.

Since 2008, Carle has appeared in 308 games for the Flyers (he hasn’t missed one in the last two years), scoring 15-122-137 with 91 PIM.  With Philadelphia, he’s also appeared in 51 playoff games, scoring 3-23-26 with 20 PIM.

Carle has had surgery to repair a torn stomach muscle and is expected to need six weeks to recover.

IS MATT CARLE A GOOD FIT FOR THE OILERS?

In a word, yes.

In two words, yes yes.

Although he’s a left handed shot (there are already four in Edmonton’s current top six), Carle’s durability cannot be questioned.  The last time Carle missed a regular season game was back in 2010 when he missed two games to a lower body injury.  Go back to 2008, and he’s only missed five more.  Carle was only one of two Flyers (Scott Hartnell) who played in all 82 NHL regular season games in 2011-12.  So far, so good.

Carle’s 38 regular season points placed him second on the Flyers’ defence behind Kimmo Timonen.  While Carle has shown that he’s gifted with the puck, he’s also somewhat talented at cleaning out the house.

Gee, I could get used to that sort of thing.  This Carle guy, he can do this often, and do it well?

BONUS

Could we get him under market value? I would say that we probably could. I don’t see any issues there

-Paul Holmgren on Matt Carle, from the Philadelphia Inquirer (11 MAY 2012)

Take a look at Philly’s cap situation.  Philly has $3M in available cap space come July 1, 2012 (and that doesn’t include some guy named Jaromir Jagr or Jakub Voracek).  A quick tabulation from my desktop calculator would suggest that Matt Carle would likely command more than $3M,  seeing as how his cap hit was nearly nearly $3.5M this past season.  Philly will have to figure something out in the next 30 days if they plan to keep Carle in their fold.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see Philly cut Carle loose, as they have six defenders under contract.  (Of some note, defenceman Pavel Kubina is also a UFA).

DOLLARS AND SENSE

Matt Carle might not be the ‘whale’ that Shea Weber would be, but he’ll still be one of the more pricey free agents.  He’s not going to become an Oiler for $3M, so this takes us well out of the bargain bin.  However,  I do think that Edmonton landing Carle is a more likely scenario than any of the real estate coming out of Nashville.  And here’s the deal:  Carle is worth a good chunk of money.   Matt Carle is a solid investment.

Matt Carle is entering prime real estate as far as his career is concerned (28 in October), and will likely be looking to secure a contract that will be longer than a couple of years.  Assuming that the open market value for Carle will be at least $5M per season, would the Edmonton Oilers be willing to offer a 4 year, $22M+ contract to Matt Carle?

If this team plans on getting good in the next year or so, Carle would be an excellent, tough part of your top four defence core.  Carle averages 21 minutes on the ice right now.  How would he like more playing time?

So here’s the point where I suggest the Oilers send one of those nice fruit baskets over to Carle’s agent with a phone number in it.  And here’s where I finish the post and tweet suggestive things to Matt Carle.  We got Fistric (@fistric28) to respond, maybe Carle will play along.

So here’s your shot.  Carle is a sure bet.  You’ve got the youth of your club entering the final year of their entry-level deals.  Let’s show them (along with the rest of the team, the sponsors, the media, the rest of the NHL, and heck, even the fans) that this team is serious about getting to the second season by opening up free agency with a bang.

And not the ‘Nikolai Khabibulin contract’ sort of bang, either.  A good bang.

Matt Carle.  What do you think?

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