Carter backup if Getzlaf can't go

Updated: February 10, 2010, 9:57 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

Jeff Carter of the Philadelphia Flyers has been told he'll be a replacement forward for Canada's Olympic team if fellow center Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks can't play.

"We've contacted Jeff and he knows he's the replacement if Ryan can't go," Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman told ESPN.com Wednesday night.

What's unclear at this point is when exactly Team Canada will make a decision on Getzlaf, who has a sprained ankle, and whether Carter would fly to Vancouver regardless. Those are decisions that still haven't been taken but Carter was told Wednesday by Yzerman to be ready to possibly jump on a plane Sunday.

"We feel it's only right that we give Ryan every amount of time possible," Yzerman said. "He's going to do everything he can to get ready. Anaheim plays Sunday night in Edmonton. Philadelphia plays Saturday night in Montreal. Jeff Carter told us he'd so whatever we wanted, even if that means flying in to Vancouver on Sunday and seeing what happens. So that's where we are right now, we're in a holding pattern. We felt at this point this was the best way to go.

"We're grateful that Jeff is willing to accommodate us."

Because Team Canada may want to see Getzlaf play Sunday night before making its final decision, Carter may very well fly from Montreal to Vancouver on Sunday afternoon and await the decision. Final Olympic rosters with any injury replacements must be submitted Monday in Vancouver on the eve of the Olympic hockey tournament. Host Canada opens play Tuesday against Norway.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.