While much of the focus leading up to the NHL’s Feb. 27 trade deadline continues to be on where Rick Nash will be dealt, another interesting rumor is beginning to take shape involving another current member of the Columbus Blue Jackets: Jeff Carter.
It’s been no secret that Carter has been unhappy since he set foot in Columbus. It’s also been made public knowledge recently that the Jackets have been trying trade the forward and the remainder of his 11-year, $58 million contract he originally signed with the Flyers.
Enter the Los Angeles Kings.
With just 124 goals (yes, that’s the entire team), the Kings desperately need scoring right now. Carter is a three-time 30-goal scorer, including the 2008-09 season in which he put up a career-high 46 goals. However, he has just 12 goals through 38 games this season. And even if the Kings were able to work out a deal with Columbus, they only have $855,000 in cap space right now, so they would have to dump salary as well as trade away some good, young prospects such as Jonathan Bernier and/or Slava Voynov.
And while a slight drop in production and the price of Carter might cause the Kings to be uneasy, their biggest fear may be reuniting him with Mike Richards. That may seem odd, seeing as how the duo led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final during the 2010-11 season, but during their time in Philadelphia, the two were labeled as a form of cancer in the locker room. They were often criticized for their lack of work ethic and allegedly, they enjoyed the night life in Philly a little too much.
“There’s no secret to the possibility of him being traded,” Richards said. “Obviously, if he came here, that would be a benefit to our team. But, we don’t want to give a lot of things up because I think we have a good group here too.”
Carter would help on the ice, but if the Kings do end up trading for him, they need to make sure to keep him and Richards away from Hollywood.