Carter Hart Could Be Trade Option for Hated Rival

The Flyers are running out of places to trade Carter Hart, while the Devils are reportedly looking to give Akira Schmid a full year in the AHL. Carter Hart could be a cost-effective contingency plan for New Jersey. 

The 2023 NHL offseason has been full of surprises, and the Philadelphia Flyers have yet to manage to find new homes for all of their trade chips. Carter Hart, Travis Sanheim, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, and Tony DeAngelo have all remained Flyers players post-NHL draft and halfway through July. While the Flyers failed to have a trade for Carter Hart materialize, teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, and Los Angeles Kings all shored up their goaltending situations already.

The Flyers won’t be short of suitors either way, though. Hart has one year remaining on his contract at $3.979 million, which makes him affordable to roughly half of the NHL, with no money retained. Of those teams, the Seattle Kraken and New Jersey Devils make the most sense. The Edmonton Oilers already have both Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner, and the Detroit Red Wings seem content with Ville Husso and newcomer James Reimer. The Buffalo Sabres would likely prefer to give Devon Levi the lion’s share of the net and see what comes of it later.

Unlike the Devils, the Kraken aren’t in a position to win now, and shouldn’t really trade the few prospects they have for Carter Hart. As good as Hart is, the Kraken should be focused on building around their two young stars in Matty Beniers and Shane Wright. They also need to find a way to extend Vince Dunn and offload the anchor that is Philipp Grubauer’s exorbitant contract.

The Devils, on the other hand, are virtually done with their offseason business, bar re-signing defenseman Kevin Bahl. In terms of goaltending, Frank Seravalli reported on July 10 that the Devils would prefer if playoff hero Akira Schmid spent another year in the AHL.

Without Bahl signed, the Devils boast $5.6 million in cap space. New Jersey also has most of their picks in 2025 and 2026, and have a few expendable prospects who might interest the Flyers.

The Flyers needed right defense prospects ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft, so they went ahead and drafted three: Oliver Bonk, Carter Sotheran, and Matteo Mann. The Devils, on the other hand, are already loaded at defense and are yet to sign 2022 draft pick Seamus Casey to an entry-level contract. With Dougie Hamilton, John Marino, and Simon Nemec all locking down the Devils’ right side for the future, Casey becomes expendable.

As a prospect, Seamus Casey trumps all of the Flyers’ defense prospects aside from Cam York, and would form a good one-two on the right alongside Oliver Bonk. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Casey would be some serious loot, even at the cost of Carter Hart.

Plus, with Alexei Kolosov, Carson Bjarnason, and Yegor Zavragin all in the pipeline, the Flyers don’t need Hart, nor do they need another goalie in return for him. The Vegas Golden Knights showed that teams don’t need elite goaltending as much as they need it at the right time, and that a goalie is only as good as the team in front of him.

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If the Flyers can move Carter Hart for a good draft pick and an A or B-tier prospect, they absolutely should. Even if it comes from the New Jersey Devils.