The Los Angeles Kings acquired center Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Jack Johnson on Thursday. The deal is pending both players passing a physical, while Columbus will also get a conditional first round draft pick in either 2012 or 2013.
In Los Angeles, Carter is reunited with former Philadelphia teammate Mike Richards. The two played six seasons together with the Flyers before being dealt in separate trades over the summer.
Carter, 27, has struggled this season as he has posted just 15 goals and 10 assists over 39 games with the Blue Jackets. The 11th overall pick of the 2003 draft, Carter has totaled 196 goals and 172 assists.
Carter provides a boost to the NHL's 30th-ranked offense and comes without a massive financial hindrance in case the team wants to cut ties ($5.272 million cap hit per season).
Los Angeles general manager Jack Lombardi spoke about the trade and the value he expects to get out of Carter:
We see some things within the system that kind of allowed us to reach out to a player of this caliber, who is still a young player barely in his prime. This isn’t a rental. To me, this isn’t your classic trade-deadline deal, where you’re giving up young players for a rental type situation. This is a good young player for a good young (player). This is a hockey deal."
Johnson, who was chosen third in the 2005 draft by Carolina, has played his entire career in Los Angeles and over 343 games he has notched 30 goals and 94 assists.