Madden Monday: Will Jeff Carter be another Patrick Marleau? And what does the trade says about Evgeni Malkin's injury?

Tim Benz, The Tribune-Review, Greensburg
·2 min read

Apr. 12—The Pittsburgh Penguins are acquiring veteran forward Jeff Carter from the Los Angeles Kings ahead of Monday's trade deadline. As our Seth Rorabaugh reports, the deal is in exchange for conditional draft picks and partial retention of Carter's salary-cap hit.

Which is sizable.

The 36-year-old is still owed a prorated amount of $5.2 million for the rest of this year and that full amount next year. Los Angeles is supposed absorb half of that. Penguins general manager Ron Hextall is giving up a third-round pick in 2022 and a fourth-round pick in 2023.

Carter has eight goals and 11 assists over 40 games this season with the Kings, his 10th in L.A. and 16th in the NHL. He has totaled 390 goals and 361 assists in his career. He won two Stanley Cups with the Kings in 2012 and 2014 and previously played with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers.

Normally, a trade such as this one serves as a way to answer questions in advance of the trade deadline. In this case, I fear just as many questions have been raised as have been answered.

Carter fills a need for bottom-six depth, given the rash of injuries afflicting Penguins forwards in recent weeks. However, as TribLive columnist and 105.9 The X host Mark Madden said in this week's "Madden Monday" podcast, this deal raises question, too. Such as, what is Carter's arrival saying about the potential return of Evgeni Malkin?

"Trading for a center makes me wonder if they think Evgeni Malkin coming back at all is dicey," Madden said. "(Malkin) is skating very lightly. There is no projected return date. This trade, I'm not outraged by it. But I'm not impressed by it either. It makes me wonder what is what on a lot of issues."

I pressed another conversation with Mark, "Is Jeff Carter just another version of Patrick Marleau?"

After all, Marleau was a complete dud in Pittsburgh after being acquired in February 2020.

"There are probably more similarities between Jeff Carter and Patrick Marleau than we care to admit," Madden said.

That's not good.

Also in the podcast, we get into the rumors of the Penguins allegedly attempting to acquire a brawler such as Anaheim's Nicolas Deslauriers. We discuss the Penguins' three-game win streak, Marc-Andre Fleury's move up the statistical ladder and trades made within the division.

Then we get into Steelers talk, Joe Musgrove's no-hitter and WrestleMania.

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Listen: Tim Benz and Mark Madden discuss the Penguins acquiring forward Jeff Carter and what it means for the team

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.