Jeff Carter returns to the Wells Fargo Center tonight to face the Philadelphia Flyers on the road for the first time since leaving the organization in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets on June 23, 2011.
Carter was sidelined with a broken foot when Columbus visited Philadelphia on November 5, 2011, a 9-2 Flyers win.
“It’ll be fun,” Carter said. “I was probably happy that I didn’t play that last one, the way things worked out. That was a tough go for us. It’s going to be exciting walking out there. It’ll be a lot of fun to get out and play.”
The last game he played at the Wells Fargo Center was a 5-4 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals win over Buffalo on April 16, 2011; he hasn’t scored a goal in Philadelphia since potting two in a 4-1 win over Edmonton on March 8, 2011.
He’ll be opposing the Flyers, though he may as well be facing their fans as well. It wouldn’t be unexpected for enthusiastic boos to follow Carter onto the ice in his return to a city home to some of the most passionate sports fans in the country.
“It seems like everyone that goes back to play against their old team gets booed,” Carter said. “That’s just the way it is.”
“Everybody that goes back into their old team seems like they’re getting nice little receptions. It doesn’t really bother me. I go out and play the game.”
Mike Richards heard both boos and cheers when he returned to Philadelphia on October 15, 2011, and assisted on Jack Johnson’s game-winning goal in a 3-2 Kings overtime win.
A potentially good omen for Los Angeles? Carter scored a goal in both of his returns to Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The Kings split the two games.
On the expanse of time since leaving Philadelphia:
It feels like a while. It’s been three years probably. It’s just kind of weird how it’s taken this long to get back and play here, but I’m looking forward to it and it should be good.
On his feelings about being traded from Philadelphia:
It’s worked out pretty well for us. Won a Stanley Cup, play in LA, so it’s a pretty good setup.