Born January 1, 1985 (age 26) in London, Ontario, Canada
Center and alternate captain for the Columbus Blue Jackets
Here’s the other half of our dynamic duo, who just happens to be a New Year’s baby! Carts began playing minor hockey in London, moving on to AAA and Junior B teams till the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds picked him in the 2001 OHL draft. Two seasons into his junior career, the Philadelphia Flyers picked him in the 2003 NHL draft, giving him time with their AHL team for the next two seasons after the Hounds’ seasons ended. In fact, he and Mike Richards were together for the Philadelphia Phantoms’ Calder Cup win in 2005! When they both made the team for the 2005-06 season, their bromance was born.
He scored his first NHL goal against Roberto Luongo (who was with the Florida Panthers at the time) and was tops in scoring among goalies with 23 goals and 43 points that season. Two more excellent seasons went by before he signed a three-year extension in 2008, and he promptly racked up 84 points in the 2008-09 season. But the 2009 playoffs saw him fall back, and he let it be known later that he’d played the last four games of their playoff run with a separated shoulder. We all know about the 2009-10 season, so let’s get to 2010, when he signed an 11-year contract, with a no-trade clause beginning in the 2012 season.
Welp, the Flyers skirted that clause when they traded Carts to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jakub Voracek and some future draft picks. He found out much the same way that Richie did, but unlike Richie, he hasn’t had the best time here in Ohio. So far, he’s only played 11 games and earned 8 points (3 each for goals and assists). The reason? A fractured foot back in October has benched him, but he’s been back on the ice lately. Maybe more ice time will help Carts adjust to his new team and give him confidence this year.