The trade deadline activity continued last night, and once again the Columbus Blue Jackets were involved. After dealing Antoine Vermette on Wednesday, the Blue Jackets sent Jeff Carter to Los Angeles in a fairly substantial trade, receiving talented defenseman Jack Johnson and the Kings’ first pick in the 2013 draft.
The move is an obvious win now move for the Kings, who are seeking to add another scoring threat to Justin Williams, Dustin Brown, and Anze Kopitar as they try to sneak in to the playoffs. (they are currently 10th, based on tie breakers). Carter has scored 30 goals in each of the past three seasons, but this year, his first in Ohio, has been a struggle. He has scored only 15 times with 10 assists, highlighting, perhaps, Columbus’s lack of talent, however if he had played the full schedule to this point, he would have been on pace for about 23 goals, so the season isn’t so bad.
Aside from the momentum shift in Los Angeles on the ice, it’s an interesting move from a personnel perspective. At the beginning of the season, the Philadelphia Flyers unloaded Carter and Mike Richards, sending Carter to the Blue Jackets and Richards to the Kings. Carter has a no trade clause that kicks in next season, which makes last night’s deal all the more interesting, given that he will be in Los Angeles, if he wishes, through 2015. Even more interesting, the duo now in Los Angeles were drafted by the Flyers while Dean Lombardi, current GM of the Kings, was a scout in Philadelphia.
Questions remain. What other moves remain to be made? Will the Kings further seek to bolster their position for the postseason? Who can the Blue Jackets get for Rick Nash, surely on his way out of town now? Only a few more days left to find out.