Ryan Carter. A Keeper. Source: Eliot J Schecter Getty Images

The Final Grade: Ryan Carter.

Each day we are going to give you the Final Grade on the Florida Panthers roster.  The members here known as The Rat Pack will rotate daily until we have completed our assessment of bodies talent players.  Today’s Final Grade Report is on:  Ryan Carter.

How acquired:  Trade from the Carolina Hurricanes along with fifth round draft pick in 2011 for Cory Stillman.

Position: C/LW

2010-2011 Stats:  3 G 9 A 12 P 66 PIM.

2011-2012 Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent.


Ryan Carter arrived at the trade deadline from the Carolina Hurricanes as the “main” piece in the Cory Stillman salary dump trade.  When this deal was made I’m confident that many people (myself included) said to themselves….eh, no big deal, just a body and most likely will end up in the AHL next season, if not released altogether.  Well boys and girls, I am pleased to say that Ryan Carter did about all he could to cement himself as a member of the Florida Panthers for next season.   

When you looked at his stats before his arrival you saw a player that played in 50 games and had a total of six points and 44 penalty minutes.  I’m sure you wondered as you looked at his previous stats with Anaheim, and even in the minors and college, and thought that there’s nothing that this kid can do to impress us.  Many said, “we got the wrong Carter”, referring to Philadelphia’s Jeff. Some may have wondered if we acquired Anson Carter, long gone from the NHL.

Ryan however quickly changed all our minds as he made an impression that should get him a contract offer from the Florida Panthers for next season.  At 6′-2″ and 200 lbs. Ryan isn’t exactly big, but he’s not small, and plays a tough, grinding game.  He’s not going to score 20 goals, although if he had the chance to play at least second line minutes he might, but that’s not where his game is at.  He’s most likely going to be the 4th line center, but you wouldn’t be embarrassed to put him on the third line as a center or wing if you needed some extra snarl.

The Panthers and Dale Tallon will hopefully be building a roster of players that can actually fit the roles for which they are destined for.  Not only with the style of play, but the size of the contract as well as the production.  Carter is a perfect 4th line guy and will provide energy, hits almost everything in sight, but has ability to put the puck in the net as well.  He does have some skill as I do remember a game where he basically skated end to end to score a goal, which on that one I believe was his first as a Panther.  And by fitting the role and salary, what I mean is, he’s not a player that we are trying to find a place for since he’s not tradeable.  Rusty Olesz makes over three million dollars, yet scored 6 goals last year, and played most of the time on the 4th line.  That’s a player that’s out of place.

Carter was paid $625,000 last season, which is slightly above the league minimum of $525,000.  I would hope that he’s signed for a couple years and the price should be about the same, but no more than $700,000.  Build in some bonuses for goals and points and you’ll get some decent production out of him.  In reality if he can play all 82 games and end up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 points or more, we’ll have a bargain.

Final Grade: B.  We only had him for 12 games, but you’d have to agree that he supplies energy, toughness and is willing to play hard for every shift.  We haven’t had too many players like that recently and if the roster is built right, he’ll fit right in and be a Panther for a few years.  Plus he’s a nice kid and is just looking for a place to call home.  Maybe it’s here.

Thanks for reading.   We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Tags: Anson Carter Carolina Hurricanes Cory Stillman Dale Tallon Florida Panthers Ryan Carter

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