While the biggest domino from the Columbus Blue Jackets still hasn’t fallen, a slightly smaller one did, as Columbus sent Jeff Carter to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick in either 2012 or 2013.
“Jeff is a proven goal scorer in our league,” Kings president and general manager Dean Lombardi said in a statement. “He brings goal-scoring abilities, speed and his age he is entering the prime of his career. We also like his versatility as he can play both center and win. We also want to wish Jack Johnson the best going forward.”
This has to be a blessing from God for Carter, who made it known that he was crushed when the Philadelphia Flyers traded him to Columbus last summer. He’ll now be reunited with former Flyers teammate and friend Mike Richards.
At the same time, how bad do you feel for Johnson, going from a decent team in Los Angeles to a God-awful team in Columbus. Ouch.
How does this relate to the Blueshirts? Well, with Carter, who as Lombardi said could play wing or center, it frees them up to shed some salary and deal captain Dustin Brown. The Rangers may see Brown as a cheaper option than Rick Nash. Brown has topped 20 goals in four of his six total seasons, and has 14 thus far this year. He carries a $3.175 million cap hit, per CapGeek.
Could Brandon Dubinsky and a first-round pick be enough to acquire Brown? Possibly. According to CapGeek, the Kings have enough space to add about $2.6 million. That number would leave them with about $1.6 million if they take on Dubinsky and his $4.2 million average.
Lombardi said he has no other trades lined up at the moment, but that could change very quickly.
It’s tough to choose who you’d rather have between Brown and Dubinsky. Even with the poor season, Dubinsky is loved by Rangers fans. I don’t think Dubinsky is as bad as his goal production says, and we’ve seen what he could do. Brown, though, is cap-friendly and has a shorter contract. He’s a New Yorker and his style of play would fit in perfectly with the Rangers.
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