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Friday, February 24, 2012

Blue Jackets Trade Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson and Draft Pick

As I stated in a previous article, we could expect Jeff “baby” Carter to be traded before the deadline. The baby was asking for a trade rather than doing his best for Columbus. Carter was traded on Thursday to the goal-starved Kings in exchange for Jack Johnson and a 1st Round draft pick in either 2012 or 2013—whatever year Columbus prefers. I was hoping that the Kings would have went for Nash and left Carter for Brian Burke because Toronto would have been the perfect place for Carter—on a losing team near to his hometown. It is said that the trade is “pending” until the players undergo medical examinations but I don’t see a problem with Carter since he has been back for nine games after coming off a shoulder injury. Let’s take a look at the trade and see who came out on top.

Jeff Carter is a tall guy with a huge reach and he can put the puck in the net. He stated that he was very happy to go to Los Angeles so that is a huge plus for the Kings because he wouldn’t work hard unless he was in a place that he liked. I believe that he will be a tremendous help to the Kings and that it might be enough to get them in the playoffs—they are in 10th spot as of Friday, February 24th. The Kings absolutely had to shake things up and Carter will be a spark. Dustin Penner was supposed to be putting the puck in the net for the Kings but something is wrong and who knows what it is? It could be nervousness, an issue with the Kings, or maybe he has his mind on the big contract that he will be offered when he is a free agent? He would have done himself a favor in that regard if he had played as well for the Kings as he did for the Oilers. Maybe the Oilers should get him back in exchange for Hemsky and a lower draft pick? Both will be free agents this summer so it would be a good trade.

Jack Johnson indicated that he was happy to go to Columbus but I don’t know how much truth there is in his statement. I don’t know too many people who would rather live in Columbus than in Los Angeles; however, he was born in Indiana (neighboring state to Ohio) so maybe he really is happy to move? Johnson has talent and can skate for a big guy, but I have a problem with his plus-minus stats. Every single year he has been in minus figures (six years) and in fact this year’s -12 is his best year yet (besides his first year when he only played five games and was -5). In considering all factors, Johnson is not near as valuable as Carter, and therefore, the draft choice is going to be extremely important in this trade. I expect Columbus to take the draft pick this year and it will be interesting to see who is left by the time the pick comes around.  

In this trade Columbus took a huge gamble because Carter is definitely more valuable than Johnson, and you never know if a draft pick is going to turn into a good NHL player or not. Therefore, the big winner of this trade is Los Angeles, unless, Columbus gets lucky by selecting a player in the draft who turns-out to be a great player. A good player would not be enough to give Columbus the “winner” designation in this trade—the draft pick has to turn out to be an excellent player.

I believe that the Kings should now go for Rick Nash who would probably be happy to go to Los Angeles now that he has been informed that he would be traded if Columbus could get the right deal. If the Kings don’t go for Nash I suggest that they go for another scorer and move some players who are not performing as well as they should be.  

TJ Stanley