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Carter-Johnson deal seemingly leaves everyone happy

Feb 23, 2012, 10:10 PM EDT

Columbus Blue Jackets Press Conference Introducing New Players Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski Getty Images

It’s human nature to simply transfer a player’s numbers to another team after a trade, but the human element tends to get lost in the shuffle. After all, NHL teams aren’t just acquiring X amount of points; they’re also adding any number of quirks, insecurities and other traits to the equation.*

When the Philadelphia Flyers traded Jeff Carter to Columbus, he was nakedly devastated. It took him an unusually long time to make a public statement on the matter, so the natural question after his latest trade is how he feels. It’s also tough not to wonder if Jack Johnson might react in a similar way to going from a contender to a pretender.

If you believe public statements, then the verdict is: everyone’s happier than the characters in a schlocky Robert De Niro movie.

Carter: satisfied to little surprise

Naturally GM Dean Lombardi released a glowing statement, but Carter didn’t hesitate to voice his approval, as you can see in this NHL.com article.

“I am obviously excited,” Carter told the Kings’ website. “I am familiar with the team and a lot of guys on the team. I looked at the Kings at the start of the year as being a club in a good position to win. I look forward to coming to L.A. and being a part of it all.”

Imaginary Carter added: “Seriously, there’s a ridiculous amount of Philadelphia Flyers on this team!”

My guess is that the Kings were either No. 1 on his wish list or at least in the top five. The only drawbacks one could imagine probably revolve around a) having to answer inevitable questions about partying with Richards and b) all the pressure that comes from a tenuous playoff run.

Here’s video of Lombardi’s reaction:

Johnson: also quite pleased

Some might be surprised that Johnson seemed pretty happy, but if you look at some of his time with the Kings, it shouldn’t be that surprising. Lombardi was quite frank about Johnson’s NCAA days, as he basically said that Red Berenson allowed him to roam freely instead of learning to play a disciplined defensive style at Michigan.

Eric Smith reports that Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said Johnson is “over-the-top” excited about the deal while Aaron Portzline captured these comments from the defenseman:

“I am excited by this, to go to a team that wants me and to play in a great sports city,” Johnson said. “I’m a mid-western boy at heart.”

Key phrase: “A team that wants me.”

Howson on the aborted Carter era

To close things out, Portzline gathered this interesting thought from Howson on Carter’s short stay in Columbus.

“I don’t regret the move (to acquire Carter),” Howson said. “I regret how it turned out. But that’s the nature of pro sports. You move on.”

***

All things considered, it seems like everyone is moving on with a solid burst of optimism. Logically speaking, I must say that those rave reviews seem genuine, but do you buy them?

* – They’re also separating players from former linemates, which can have little-to-no impact or drastically change an individual’s ceiling.

  1. lolnowhy - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    in 5 years, the Kings will be basement dwellers because of this move

    face it: Quick is the heart of that team. now that you’ve got a heavy group of overpaid forwards, there is likely little room for Quick to get the money that he wants. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him walk to a team like Columbus in 2 years because the Kings will be dilapidated and the Jackets will be in serious rebuilding mode.

    • barkar942 - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:23 PM

      But your observation is truly what should lead to parity around the NHL. The object of the cap is to attempt to equalize the player expenses, and bad teams get better draft picks to try to garner new talent to nurture into contenders.

  2. dolanster - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    It has made no sense for the Kings to have BOTH Doughty and Johnson, who are essentially the same player (but Doughty is younger and better). As a team with a goals-scored-per-game average from the 1940s the Kings HAD to acquire offense. The Kings are deep at the goaltender spot, and drafter a great kid this year. Good move Lombardi. Now score some goals and get this club moving.

  3. geo91 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    I think everyone is happy except JJ. I can’t imagine having to move from LA, right before the playoffs, to Columbus, during some of the worst weather of the year. Guy can’t be a happy camper.

    • Exiled1 - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:01 AM

      Honestly this winter has been pretty lame in Ohio. I’d expect JJ to hear a few catcalls from being a Wolverine though.

    • vshehane - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Columbus, Ohio or Los Angeles? Duh, that’s a no brainer:)

      • Exiled1 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        I’m a born and bred Ohioian and lived in San Fran,Phoenix,and Columbus. Sometimes the mid-west is best. It’s not always greeneer on the other side. Jack Johnson is from Indianapolis which is a 3 hr drive from C-Bus. Maybe Jack just wanted to be closer to home. I’ve been to L.A. ….nice place to visit,better place to leave.

      • vshehane - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        No slap intended on Ohio, just thinking of all those gray winter days. Will probably be a good fit for Jack. I happen to love LA but its not for everyone.

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