March 26, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Carle (25) reacts after his turnover allowed Tampa Bay Lightning right wing J.T. Wyman (34) to score against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Lightning defeated the Flyers, 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Carle Hits The Jackpot. Signs With Tampa Bay Lightning

Not sure if it’s the warm weather, or the fact that he felt compelled to do something almost as exciting as the Minnesota Wild,  but nonetheless Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman signed defenceman Matt Carle to a six year $33 million dollar deal that will average $5.5 per season.   The move prompted a few comments on Twitter of course, and some of those were a shout out to Florida Panther GM Dale Tallon to “do something”.  Not so fast kittens.  While some of you wishing that Dale would throw truckloads of money at players that aren’t worth it, Dale is not about to keep up with the Jones’s on this one.

First of all six years seems to be the magic number this season for long term deals for many players.  The price tag however for some of these players, and noteably defencemen are pricy.  OR is ridiuclous a better word? When you look at Carle’s stats, you have to ask yourself is he really worth “that” kind of money…..and for six seasons mind you.  The 27 year old defenceman was on the top of many lists of teams that were looking for help on defence, however I believe that either Yzerman overpaid, or that Carle has a very good agent.  In 471 NHL games Carle has 32 goals and 202 points.  Hardly an offensive wizard from a scoring standpoint, but he’s obviously able to dish out some assists.  Although some word argue that many assists weren’t credited to him as a few of his passed led to goals for the opposition.

While a durable blueliner, Carle who spent the past four seasons in Phildelphia became known as a “turnover machine”, and is not exactly quick on his feet.  If Yzerman was looking for a stay at home defenceman (because he has cement in his skates) with a touch of offensive upside, he made have found him.  As well as overpaid for him while we’re at it.  I know that salaries are being driven up because of the cap, let’s be realistic.  Does anyone really think that Matt Carle is worth the price of a Duncan Keith or a Brent Seabrook who are both making in the $5.5 million plus range (average cap hit). 

I’m fine with a player earning his value and we all know that for years many of the NHLers were grossly underpaid, so I understand that.  I also realize that we are now in a time when once in a great while a team needs to overpay to attract a player and many times for that player it does come down to money.  Tampa is a good team, and they have a good nucleus of players.  What they don’t have is goaltending, or at least proven goaltending.  Maybe Yzerman feels that by loading up on slow oeverpriced defencemen he can compensate for inexpensive and unproven goalies (Anders Linkdback).  Best of luck.  Carle by the way is returning to Tampa where he played for 12 games in 2008-2009.

Remember Panther fans, Dale has a plan.  He’s sticking to it.  Worrying about paying Matt Carle isn’t going to get you anywhere.  At least for the next six seasons.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Tags: Brent Seabrook Dale Tallon Duncan Keith Florida Panthers Matt Carle Steve Yzerman Tampa Bay Lightning

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