The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Jeff Carter from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2022 3rd round pick and a 2023 4th round pick. Both picks have unknown conditions on them. The Kings also retained half of Carter\’s salary.
This is an odd trade to begin with, as even after salary retention, Carter is a very expensive player, who will be on Pittsburgh\’s books for next year, with a flat salary cap. He is well past his prime, last scoring at least 20 goals in 2016-17. At this point, Carter is a bottom six winger who can play center, and is good at faceoffs when necessary. He has played a lot of wing this year, although Carter could move to center behind Evgeni Malkin this year. For 2020-21 alone, this is a fine move. But it is questionable considering he will still be on the team next year. This move also puts the team over the salary cap, and they will need to depend on LTIR usage to get cap compliant. The cost may seem high, but Carter is a proven two-time Stanley Cup champion who Pittsburgh believes can still make an impact on their bottom six.
Carter, 36, has scored eight goals with 11 assists for 19 points in 40 games for the Kings this year. In his NHL career for the Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets, Carter has scored 390 goals with 361 assists for 751 points in 1080 games.
This is a good trade for the Kings, as they can still get value for Carter before his long 11 year deal with the Flyers expires. His base salary is only $2 million for this year and the next, so retaining 50% is little in real money. Additionally, the rebuilding Kings can afford to take on half of Carter\’s salary on the cap, which comes out to about $2.63 million.