Ex-Flyer Carle right at home in Tampa Bay

Ex-Flyer Carle right at home in Tampa Bay

January 28, 2013, 10:00 am
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TAMPA, Fla. -- You can’t blame Matt Carle for taking the money – six years, $33 million.
 
The Flyers could have overspent, as they do so often with so many players. But they put all focus last summer on Shea Weber. Then Ryan Suter. And then Zach Parise.
 
And they really had no true back-up plan on defense once Nashville matched the Flyers' offer sheet for Weber, and Suter signed in Minnesota along with Parise.
 
Nashville matched the Flyers' 14-year, $110 million offer on July 24 – 23 days after Suter and Parise turned down the Flyers' identical 12-year, $100 million offers.
 
All the while, one of the most underappreciated athletes Philadelphia has ever had hung around hoping to get an offer, but it never came.
 
Did he feel unappreciated by the club, let alone the fans?
 
“No,” Carle said on Sunday night. “I played a lot and had a great relationship with the guys and the coaching staff. Everybody there. In the end, things didn’t work out. There really is no one to blame. Hockey is a business at times. So, here we are.”
 
You don’t want to blame Parise and Suter for holding up the process in free agency last summer, Matt?
 
“It was kind of weird, I guess, that whole process,” he said. “I don’t blame those guys for taking their time. The amount of offers they were probably getting, the length of those offers, you want to make sure – a dozen or 13 years – be sure where you are going and those guys took their time. I was fine to sit in the weeds and do my homework on different organizations, and it allowed me the time to make a good decision, as well.”
 
Carle is living happily ever after here in Tampa. The Flyers won’t admit it, but they miss his fluid skating and his one-touch pass out of the zone.
 
Carle got market value – less than $1 million more than the Flyers wanted to offer, but Bolts general manager Steve Yzerman had no qualms in spending because he was rebuilding his defense.
 
Having played and lived here in the past, it was easy to make a decision for Carle.
 
 “It’s been good,” Carle said. “The systems here are a little bit different that what I’m used to, but we have a 4-1 record here.”
 
And … he’s appreciated - even by the fans.
 
Snider honored
Flyers chairman Ed Snider will receive the lifetime humanitarian award Monday night at the 109th annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, N.J. Cocktails at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:15 p.m., and tickets are available at the door.
  
Drop the gloves
So on Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla., Luke Schenn had what he thought was a career-high 11 hits against the Panthers.
 
Sunday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Flyers defenseman really tuned up on Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier in the opening period with a fight at 5:09.
 
Not even close, as Schenn just pounded away with his left hand.
 
Loose pucks
Tampa has scored at least three goals a game this season so far and leads the league with 24, not counting other games on Sunday. … Brayden Schenn was cut in the mouth in the second period on a follow-through shot from a Tampa player on the ice. …
Tom Sestito replaced Scott Laughton in the lineup while coach Peter Laviolette changed up three of his lines from Saturday against the Panthers. … Tampa blocked 26 Flyers shots tonight. The Flyers only had 25 shots actually hit the net. They had 16 miss the net entirely.