*Note: Feel free to jump down & stream the video as a soundtrack to this post.
As tweeted at approximately 7 pm EST this evening by Helene Elliott of the LA Times, it appears as though Jeff Carter is on his way to the Kings in exchange for Jack Johnson and a 1st round pick. (Deal confirmed at 8:30 pm by Darren Dreger). Not only does this trade reunite Carter with former Flyers teammate Mike Richards, but it will also (hopefully) jumpstart a sputtering LA offense and propel them into the playoffs.
Now, this reunion is not without some serious question marks. As per Dan Gross of the Philadelphia Daily News (via Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy), it was reported back in June that the reason for the Carter & Richards deals was their adoption of a heavy “partying lifestyle” & their respective refusals to commit to camp out on ‘Dry Island’ for a month. Also, it was widely believed that there was some tension in the room between Richards and veteran Chris Pronger, and the Flyers clearly decided that they were going to hitch their wagon to the latter and a fresh core built around Claude Giroux.
Having said that, both Carter & Richards did achieve their greatest success as teammates in Philly, putting up career highs in points in 2008-09 and bringing the Flyers within 2 wins of the Stanley Cup in 2010. What remains to be seen is whether they can duplicate that kind of success both individually and as part of a winning squad in LA, or if they’ll simply get caught up in an LA kind of “partying lifestlye.”
So with Vermette and now Carter shipped out of Columbus, the next (and biggest) domino to fall is, of course, Rick Nash. Obviously the Kings are out of the running, but it would appear as though both the Rangers & Sharks are emerging as frontrunners in the Nash sweepstakes, with the Flyers, Canucks & Bruins all still seemingly holding some decent cards should they choose to step up their pursuits.
At this point (and with admittedly zero insider information), it’s impossible to say where he will end up, or if he will will indeed be shipped out prior to Monday’s deadline. If, as Eric Francis (via Puck Daddy) maintains, the asking price remains “an effective player off an NHL roster; two top prospects and a first-round draft pick”, then it’s quite possible that a deal will not go down and potential bidders will bide their time, take their chances with their current rosters or on lesser deals, and revisit Nash in the summer.
With the entire weekend ahead of us before the deadline, it will be interesting to see if the Carter deal remains the biggest to go down, or if the Nash Express does indeed ride out of Columbus. (If Nash does indeed get dealt, I’d say that with LA off the table, it all comes full circle and he ends up in Philly for a package including Bobrovsky, Couturier & JVR).
At the end of the day, and as has been said many times on this blog, it remains to be seen what kind of impact any trade acutally makes in the short & long term.
Trade Deadline, folks. Get either your popcorn or a good book ready – could either be a blockbuster or a bust.
Update: As of around 9 am on Friday morning, Dustin Brown is now being shopped by the Kings. Several teams reported to be interested according to Bob Mackenzie. Looks like a lot of the deadline action is going through LA this year.
And just before 2 pm yesterday, Elliotte Friedman of HNIC tweeted that Dustin Brown is, in fact, not being shopped.
The clock is ticking …