Feb 20, 2012, 2:27 PM EDT
LA Kings forward Mike Richards has heard all the trade rumors surrounding his struggling team.
But given his history, one has to stand out above the rest — L.A. acquiring his former Flyers teammate and best friend, Columbus center Jeff Carter.
“There’s no secret to the possibility of him being traded,” Richards told MayorsManor.com. “Obviously, if he came here, that would be a benefit to our team.”
It’s been just over two weeks since Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch broke news that Carter had been put on the trading block. Things have heated up ever since and on Saturday, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported the following:
“They [Columbus] will try to trade Jeff Carter to the L.A. Kings and re-unite him with Mike Richards, who he’s close buddies with and played with in Philadelphia.
“There is a sense that the Kings are interested in Jeff Carter — very much so.”
Fellow CBC analyst Glenn Healy followed this up by explaining that Carter’s no-trade/no-movement clauses didn’t transfer over to Columbus, so there are no contractual issues preventing a deal.
Today Portzline talked to Jackets GM Scott Howson, who said that while a deal wasn’t imminent, things were getting close.
“We’re waiting for the right deals,” Howson said. “We’re getting closer. But we’re not there yet.”
Which brings us back to Richards and the Kings. After Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Calgary (their fourth 1-0 loss of the season), the Kings found themselves on the outside of the playoff picture, mired in a 120-minute scoreless streak. Their need for offense has moved past critical and into “dire” territory — and it just so happens Richards has kept tabs on his old Philly running mate, who averaged 38 goals per year over the last three seasons.
“I talk to him probably three or four times a week,” he said. “It’s one of those things where people have a lot of pressure. It’s a business, as I learned in the summertime, and there’s a lot of pressure on people to make the right moves.”
(Photo courtesy CrossingBroad.com)
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