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Kings acquire Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson, first-rounder

Feb 23, 2012, 9:11 PM EDT

Philadelphia Flyers v Buffalo Sabres - Game Three Getty Images

As anticipated, the Los Angeles Kings are one step closer to becoming the Philadelphia Flyers (with a tan) as they did indeed acquire Jeff Carter. Aaron Portzline reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets landed offensive defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick in the exchange.

(Click here for reactions from all sides.)

Contract impact

Carter carries a $5.27 million cap hit through the 2021-22 season while Johnson’s $4.36 million cap hit goes until 2017-18.

The Kings’ roster is increasingly heavy with long-term deals as GM Dean Lombardi’s hopeful transition from cellar-dweller to contender continues. Here’s a quick look at the lengthier deals in Los Angeles:

Drew Doughty ($7 million): 2018-19
Anze Kopitar ($6.8M): 2015-16
Mike Richards: ($5.75M): 2019-20
Carter: ($5.27M): 2021-22

Dustin Brown, Matt Greene and Justin Williams also have contracts that will keep them around for a few more years. Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier‘s cheap contracts run out after 2012-13, so Lombardi still has some big decisions to make.

Meanwhile, after trading away Antoine Vermette and Carter along with the strong possibility for Rick Nash‘s departure, the Blue Jackets are opening the door for another rebuild. (Although their defense is strangely heavy on lengthy, expensive deals.)

source: Getty ImagesOn-ice impact

As you probably know, the Kings need offense. Carter provides goal-scoring zip and perhaps some depth down the middle, although he might make more sense on the wing. Los Angeles is heavy on defensive talent – one can imagine that Johnson’s absence will be a boon for Slava Voynov and/or Alec Martinez – so losing the attacking blueliner shouldn’t be too difficult.

(They’ll miss him on the power play, although Carter could make them better in that area anyway.)

Columbus washes its hands of one of two shaky big off-season moves by moving Carter. James Wisniewski likely gets more of an “incomplete” grade instead of an “F” this season because of injuries and suspension issues, but Johnson brings a lot of the same qualities to the ice.

That’s part of the interesting thing in this equation: both players bring serious offensive skills but glaring defensive warts to the table. Forgive me for possibly stating the obvious here, but I’d say it’s easier to accept gambling tendencies from a forward instead of a blueliner …

Off-ice matters

The natural question of the negative aspects of the Richards-Carter friendship will come up. If you ask me, the “Dry Island” stuff is more of a funny punchline than a real concern, but others might wring their hands about it quite a bit more.

One cannot wonder if Johnson feels a lot like Carter did about going to Columbus. After all, he probably wasn’t wildly popular in Ohio during his NCAA days in Michigan …


Overall, this is a solid deal for both sides. The Kings add offense without wrecking their salary cap situation, although they’re now more or less married to what they have. The Blue Jackets made the most of a declining situation with Carter by getting a talented blueliner and a first-round pick for their troubles.

It’s a conditional first-rounder. If the Kings miss the playoffs, Columbus will receive Los Angeles’ 2013 pick. If they make it, the Blue Jackets can choose between the Kings’ 2012 or 2013 choice.

Anyway, there’s my breakdown of the trade. Feel free to quibble with some points – I’m guessing most of you aren’t as fond of Carter – and share your thoughts on which team won the deal in general.

Or, considering the sour views on the players involved, perhaps which team lost the least …

  1. trbowman - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Great trade for both sides.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Feb 24, 2012 at 7:47 AM

      Three words for the West Coast: Old City Gang. Enjoy.

  2. t16rich - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Good for the BlueJackets. Kings needed to do somthing but that roster still needs a look in the mirror more than they need Carter. Carter will help though.

  3. bigbear42 - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    I definitely think Columbus came out on top in this deal. Johnson is a good young defenseman with experience thats good on the power play. Isnt that something Columbus has been lacking for a long time?

  4. taytay099 - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    I was not expecting Carter to be worth a top D and a first round pick. Pretty good trade for Columbus.

  5. sergio408 - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    I wonder if Doug Wilson will panic and trade for Rick Nash……

    • finfan88shark - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Panic, Doug Wilson panic, LOL! How can somebody with no clue to what good trade value is panic. Wilson will not be trading for Nash, he will make all kinds of excuses (Like always) and in the end he will trade 6 players and a draft pick for Ales Hemsky (Who will immediately get hurt and be out for the season.)

      • t16rich - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:25 PM

        I feel giving up Setoguchi in the offseason was absolutly stupid by the Sharks. They should have kept that kid. It seems like the team liked him and he was growing well with the team. Not sure how Sharks fans feel about that though. I also might feel that because he tends to score goals when I bet against his team. Setoguchi has taken my money on more than one occasion. But as a hockey fan, he seemed to be a good fit not just for his play but his connection with his teammates. Judging by this videos music some fans were a little to emotional about Setoguchi leaving. But who am I to judge? He had some awesome moments.

  6. sharksfan754 - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Columbus made out like a pig in $hit

    • finfan88shark - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:39 PM

      You’re absolutely nuts if you believe Columbus won this trade you’re as delusional as Doug Wilson.

      • t16rich - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM

        That first round pick is undetermined and could still end up being a top 10 pick or potentailly first overall depending on how the Kings do or if the Jackets use it this year or next. You’re absolutly delusional to think the Jackets lost in this trade, considering the main piece of the trade hasnt even been drafted yet. The jackets definalty didn’t lose today.

    • dolanster - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM

      You obviously haven’t seen many Kings games this year.

  7. broadstbully33 - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    I would bet cbj flips johnson to another team…probably flyers

    • taytay099 - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      That would be a dream come true for Flyers fans. I think CBJ would be wise to keep him. They’ve never had a good defenseman like Johnson before.

  8. jayh1492 - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Disclosure: CBJ fan, I don’t think the jackets need to trade Nash now. With Johnson, Wiz, Johanson plus (possibly) 2 first round draft picks and two 2nd round picks (Vermette trade) isn’t there a possibility to flip a few of those draft picks and Umberger for a goalie? It might be optimistic thinking but come on now, its not a complete rebuild from the ground up. Everyone knows the Jackets can draft so trade those picks for proven players. All we need is a solid goalie. Am I way off base here?

    • jayh1492 - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM

      *** The jackets **CAN’T** draft so trade those picks for proven players.

  9. attyken - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    It really is Flyers west.

  10. obamablowz - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    How long before Carter and Richards need “maintenance days” in the playoffs to recover from hangovers?

  11. lolnowhy - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I’m not sure why you’re all praising Columbus for this. this looks terrible on an already horrible track record… you all seem to be forgetting that Howson traded for this overpaid clown less than a year ago

    • dwil12 - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:55 PM

      and howson got a pretty good haul for carter, whose value is much less than it was when the flyers traded him to CBJ.

  12. epictron1 - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Carter can now drink on the beach and work on his tan year round!! I can’t wait to see this implode on the Kings.

    • solador78 - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      Tune into TMZ cause it’s gonna be non-stop hookers and blow all over Sunset.

      Oh wait, TMZ doesn’t even know who these guys are.

  13. AppealToReason - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    I think this leaves LA without any picks in the first 3 rounds this year. Could provide some incentive for them to at least make a move or two to grab some picks or you end up like Calgary.

  14. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Jack Johnson is a good young defenseman, plus a first round pick, and they get rid of that albatross of a contract?! I have to give Scott Howson credit he definitely did well in this trade.

    For LA it’s very short term thinking, they’re desperate for a playoff spot and goals, so the trade makes sense on that level, but once you figure in the contract plus the cancer like effects that Richards and Carter have on a dressing roon (allegedly) it could pay off now but give them big headaches down the road.

  15. jagrbomb18 - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    I’ve never watched JJ play but it seems every year he is minus 20 ..what’s up with that? Carter I’m assuming will play wing in LA? Not that it matters…sorry LA Jeff Carter will not solve your scoring problems…

  16. baldeagle22 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Search: local bars/nightclubs near Staples Center.


  17. sergio408 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    For those that say the CBJ did horrible in this trade are very wrong, they just acquired a top young Defenseman who hasn’t even start to hit his prime yet and is locked up until 2018 for a very reasonable cap number of 4.3 mil, the kings scoring woes are so bad right now they traded one of their best young defenseman one who they said just last year that was untouchable great trade for columbus.

  18. mianfr - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    So an elite defenseman was traded for a bloated formerly good, currently ineffective player with a bloated contract, and the team getting the defenseman also got a first round pick?

    Hard not to like how the Blue Jackets came out on this, even if acquiring Carter was ultimately a bust.

    • gretzkyoneyzermantwo - Feb 25, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      LMAO @ JJ being Elite

      LMAO @ JJ being Good

      JJ sucks

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (2033)
  2. P. Kessel (1271)
  3. M. Richards (1215)
  4. N. Backstrom (1113)
  5. M. Giordano (999)