Should The Flyers Pursue Ryan Suter or Resign Matt Carle?BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
If they want to make a big splash and get an elite defenseman, they could go out in free agency and sign Ryan Suter. Or they could make a subtle move and resign Matt Carle while also acquiring a depth defenseman.
I was one of those people who thought the Flyers should dump Carle, and do whatever it took to sign Suter. That is, until I took a look at statistics and noticed how similar they were. Now, I’ll take Carle over Suter.
They are both 27-years-old and started their NHL careers in 2005. Suter has played in more regular season games, but Carle has more playoff experience.
Last season, Suter played in 79 regular season games and registered a career-high 46 points and was a plus 15, while Carle played in all 82 games for the Flyers, tallying 38 points and was a plus four. In the playoffs, Carle played 11 games, had six total points and was a minus three. Suter played in 10 games has four points, and was a minus three.
Carle has played in every regular season game for the past two seasons for the Flyers. The last time he missed any playing time during the regular season was in 2009-2010. The last time that Suter actually played a full 82 games in the regular season was during the 2009-2010 season.
Suter is usually paired against the opposing team’s top line during the course of a game. He also plays the point on the power play unit, kills penalties and eats up a ton of ice time per game. Carle is usually part of the Flyers second defensive pairing, plays on the power play, at even strength, but he usually doesn’t kill penalties.
If the Flyers signed Suter, they’d also bring his leadership into the locker room, but Carle brings familiarity. Carle has also played with the Flyers other top defensemen, so he knows their style of play; whereas, Suter would have to get used to playing with whomever his defensive partner would be. Suter can give you points on the blue line, but Carle is more familiar with the style both of his goaltenders like to play.
Suter’s decision rests on what his family wants, so the Nashville Predators have the upper hand there. Carle will most likely take less years and less money to sign. Suter’s contract would likely be around six years for anywhere between $6 million to $7.5 million per season. Carle might take a four year contract worth $4 million to $4.5 million per season.
The only real downside to signing Carle is that he tends to turn the puck over during key moments of games and those turnovers have a tendency to lead to big goals for the opposing team.
Even with the turnovers, here’s to hoping Matt Carle is in orange and black next season.
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