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Jackets deal Carter to Kings for Johnson, pick
Question of the Day
COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) - The Los Angeles Kings needed a goal-scorer. The Columbus Blue Jackets simply needed a redo.
Both teams met their needs Thursday night by pulling off a major trade that sent forward Jeff Carter from Columbus to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round draft pick in either 2012 or 2013.
“Even in the summer, I always felt we were a top forward away,” Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. “Now, that said, I certainly didn’t think we were (going to be) 30th in the league in scoring.”
Acquired in a blockbuster deal with Philadelphia last summer, Carter was expected to center the Blue Jackets' top line with captain Rick Nash, who is also rumored to be on the trading block leading up to Monday’s NHL dealing deadline. But Carter missed 20 games due to a broken foot and a separated shoulder. He had three goals in the Blue Jackets’ previous game and has 15 goals and 10 assists in 39 games this season.
A telephone message left for Carter by The Associated Press wasn’t immediately returned.
If the Kings make the playoffs this season, they will send their first-round pick this summer to the Blue Jackets. If Los Angeles fails to qualify, Columbus will have the choice of taking this year’s pick or next year’s top selection.
“I think the only way that we can make this deal is because we have some young defensemen coming through the system,” Lombardi said. “It kind of allowed us to reach out to a player of this caliber, who’s still a young player barely in his prime.”
There had been grumbling from fans last summer when Carter appeared to be less than enthusiastic about coming from the talent-rich, playoff-proven Flyers to a franchise that has made only one postseason trip in its 11 seasons. And that ended with a four-game sweep three years ago.
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