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Flyers lock up Carter for long term

by John Kreiser
Jeff Carter will be a Philadelphia Flyer for a long time.

The Flyers announced Saturday that the 25-year-old center has agreed to terms on a multi-year contract. They didn't release terms, but TSN is reporting that the deal is for 11 years and is worth $58 million.

It's the second big signing by the Flyers this week. Forward Claude Giroux signed a three-year, $11.25 million contract on Monday. Carter also becomes the second Flyer with a very long-term contract: Center Mike Richards, who was drafted 24th in the 2003 Entry Draft -- 13 picks behind Carter -- signed a 13-year deal in December 2007.

"We're happy to have Jeff signed for the foreseeable future," GM Paul Holmgren said before Saturday night's home game against Florida. "Jeff is an integral part of the future our hockey team.

"It's important to have him locked up for the future of the team. Getting Jeff done today and Claude done this week are big for the Flyers."

Carter is in his sixth season with the Flyers, and had 20 or more goals in four of the first five. He had 23 goals as a rookie in 2005-06, dropped to 14 in 62 games in 2006-07, but has had 29, 46 and 33 goals in his last three seasons. He's off to a good start in 2010-11 with 8 goals and 14 points in his first 16 games. Three of his 8 goals were game-winners.

Holmgren said the contract, which was agreed to late Friday night, has a limited no-trade clause. While he wouldn't discuss exact terms, he did say that in terms of the salary cap, the deal "doesn't really hurt us."

During the 2008-09 season, Carter became the 13th player in team history to record 40 or more goals in a season and set a franchise record with five overtime points in a single season. His 84 points were a career-high.

In his first 397 NHL games, Carter has 153 goals and 138 assists for 291 points.

"I think he's matured over a number of years here," Holmgren said. "He's a committed, two-way player for the Flyers. We need guys who can score, and Jeff has a knack for scoring."

Coach Peter Laviolette said he's glad to have Carter on board for the long term.

"As far as Jeff goes, I think it really says something about him as a player for this organization and what he has done. Jeff has put up a lot of points," Laviolette said. "He's young and talented. He's a big guy that plays center ice for us. I always say you have to be strong down the middle and he certainly is that for us. It is a great deal for him, our organization and our fans.  It seems to be a good fit."

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