The Kings have acquired forward Jeff Carter from Columbus in exchange for Jack Johnson and a first-round pick. The pick is conditional. If the Kings miss the playoffs this season, it’s a 2013 first-round pick. If they make the playoffs, the Blue Jackets can choose either the 2012 or 2013 first-round pick. Barring any surprises, Carter should be able to play for the Kings on Saturday. He will have to pass a physical, as is standard after a trade, and the Kings play at 5 p.m. Saturday.
So, this is the “big splash” that many predicted/hoped the Kings would make in an attempt to boost the lowest-scoring offense in the NHL. Carter, who turned 27 last month, is a three-time 30-goal scorer, with a career high of 46 goals for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008-09. In 500 NHL games, Carter has 196 goals and 172 assists. Carter signed an 11-year, $58-million contract extension with the Flyers in Nov. 2010, but last June the Flyers traded Carter to Columbus for Jakub Voracek and first- and third-round draft picks. Carter has 10 years remaining on that contract, with a salary-cap hit of just over $5.27 million per season. Incidentally, Carter was traded from Philadelphia to Columbus on the same day the Flyers traded Mike Richards to the Kings. Richards and Carter are close friends and came under criticism from some members of the Philadelphia media for purported off-ice activities.
Johnson signed a seven-year, $30.5-million contract extension last year, so he has six years remaining, at a salary-cap hit of $4.35 million. Johnson has eight goals and 16 assists in 61 games this season.