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Holmgren: Carle wants to stay in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils - Game Three

NEWARK, NJ - MAY 03: Matt Carle #25 of the Philadelphia Flyers fights for the puck against Dainius Zubrus #8 of the New Jersey Devils in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on May 3, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Philadelphia Flyers are in a bit of an awkward situation. Although they technically have exclusive negotiating rights over soon-to-be unrestricted free agents Matt Carle, they can’t actually sign him to a contract extension.

That’s because all teams are still subject to the 2011-12 salary cap for now and signing Carle would mean going over budget. Once the free agent market opens, the cap will rise and Philadelphia should have enough space to offer Carle a competitive contract. The problem is that by then, Carle will have probably have already received other offers and Philadelphia might end up getting outbid.

All the same, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren remains optimistic about his team’s ability to retain Carle.

“I have had enough conversations with Matt to know what he is about and know that he wants to stay in Philadelphia,” Holmgren said. “We’ll see how it all works out.”

Carle is coming off a four-year/$13,750,000 contract. He’s recorded at least 35 points in each of his last three seasons, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ended up getting a decent raise.