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Jeff Carter adds to his trade value (and Sharks’ road woes)

Jeff Carter, Vinny Prospal

Columbus Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter (7) celebrates with teammate Vinny Prospal (22), of Czech Republic, after Carter scored his second goal of the game against the Nashville Predators during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. Carter earned a hat trick in the first period. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


For all that’s been made about Rick Nash’s trade value, Jeff Carter might just be the best buy among high-profile Columbus Blue Jackets.

If all things were equal, I’d take Nash over Carter. They’re not equal, however, as Nash makes about $2.5 million more per season and would likely cost a lot more in trade assets. They’re both 27 years old and while Nash has the quantity stats over Carter, the two are pretty close in per-game averages.*

Carter added some value to his resume on Tuesday as he scored a hat trick to help the Blue Jackets shock the San Jose Sharks 6-3.

Then again, maybe such a result is getting less surprising. As we discussed this morning, the Sharks are rapidly losing their road warrior descriptor as they’re a disturbing 1-4-1 in the first six contests of a nine-game tour. All of a sudden, the Sharks’ only edge in the Pacific Division lies in their two games in hand regarding the Phoenix Coyotes as both teams are tied with 69 points.

If it comes down to fixing things with a trade, Carter might just be making an argument that he’s a solid bargain answer to his much-discussed teammate.

* - Nash has a .42 goal per game (279 in 652) and a .813 point-per-game (530 in 652) average in his NHL career while Carter averages .39 goals per game (196 in 500) and .736 points per contest (368 in 500) in his. That’s rather close, although it also shows that Carter’s fragility might explain the gulf in interest as much as questions about his partying ways.