Ryan Carter is serving the last year of a 2-year, 1-way, $1.55 million contract with the New Jersey Devils and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Ryan Carter has played for 4 teams in his NHL career. He started with the Anaheim Ducks for 4 seasons, was then acquired during the season by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010-11, but was later dealt in the tail end of the season to the Florida Panthers.
Carter would start the 2011-12 season with the Panthers but was then acquired by New Jersey early in the season. This season, Carter is receiving a $50,000 raise but the salary cap hit remains at $775,000. He is receiving $800,000 this season.
The only season that Ryan Carter has hit double-digits in the point department was last season where he played in 44 games during the lockout-shortened season and had 15 points (6 G, 9 A). He has come close a few other times (9 points in 2008-09, 2009-2010 with ANA). He also had 9 points in his hectic year of 2010-11 where he registered 3 points for the Ducks, Hurricanes, Panthers to reach a total of 9.
Through 42 games this season, Carter has 5 goals and 2 assists for 7 points and has a -5 rating. He also has 48 shots with a 10.4 shooting percentage.
Carter is the third cog in the chemistry-loaded CBGB line with Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier. I believe that Gionta is the least likely to return but I would not be surprised if they let Ryan Carter go as well. It is very hard to see what your worth is with Carter.
You can say he is having a better year this year as he is likely to hit 10 points in the final stretch of the season and has already surpassed his shot total in his 65 games with the team in the 2011-12 regular season. You can also argue that he has had a worse year to this point as he had 15 points in 44 games in a short season. He also had 63 total shots in that span.
Whether you think he is getting better or he is getting worse, Carter will be 31 when the season starts in October. He wouldn’t cost very much at all and would have no reason to ask for a much larger salary.
I do believe they will keep him next season, probably for a 1-year deal, and try to see how he will progress. If Jacob Josefson was relevant in the Devils roster and not in the suites 99.9999999% of the time and rotting his career away, I would probably lean towards keeping Josefson in favor of Carter.
However, I have reserved feelings towards Josefson returning (he is most likely next in this series), and I think it would be best if Carter returned for another season.
Cast your vote for or against the final cog of the CBGB line! Should Ryan Carter return next season?