The Case For Jeff Carter > Rick Nash

I’ve stayed pretty quiet on this whole Rick Nash to the LA Kings hubbub, partially because Scribe is spasming out far more than our quota of trade speculation posts but mostly because I haven’t really settled on a feeling about trading for Nash. My general thoughts have been that no trade will rectify what ails the Kings but also that this team needs a bit of a core shakeup. I’ve been warming to the idea of trading Brown, am 50/50 on losing Johnson and there was a moment during the Calgary game on Saturday when Kopitar had a chance to recover a puck at the blue line during a powerplay but instead stood uselessly at the right point while Williams lost the puck and the zone that made my teeth clench, my rage spike and one of the more obnoxious voices in my head yell ‘Trade his ass!’. Just a flash. I’ve since calmed. A little.

However one thing of which we can all agree, even considering Scribe’s worming into Lombardi’s mind, is that creating a big hole (read: Brown or Johnson) while acquiring a big player doesn’t help all that much.

As we saw with the Richards trade, we are not so deep a team as we’d like to believe that trading away our regular NHL players can be easily counterbalanced by the farm system. Truly, if we are making a trade, it should be one of two kinds of trades. Either a star for star trade, think Chris Stewart for Erik Johnson (as opposed to a big package for a star), or a trade that is centered around futures, more akin to, and I cringe to say this, the Penner trade. I don’t particularly like the idea of any other kind of trade. So without even considering the lusty feelings Nash on Kopi’s wing arouses in me, I can rule him out of one side of my brain.

But what about Jeff Carter? Well, while Nash is a big, mean, slash skating, power forward winger, Carter is a big, not mean, plodding, sniping center. Both players have a nose for the net, but this comes down to some ‘P’s for me. Not that Carter is a partier, a primadona or a pouter. Rather his position, price and perks.

Position. Carter is a natural center but he can play all 3 forward positions. “Surly, you dumbass, what does it matter that he’s a center?” Well you contrarian dufus in my skull, having 3 gret centers is a boon and since Stoll better not get another contract, Carter is consistently over 50% on the draw. Kopi is OK on the dot, Richards is wildly inconsistent. Carter has a face-off percentage of 51.3% this season and an average of 52.8% over the last 3 seasons. Not quite Stoll numbers (who is 56.3% in the same time span), but Kopi is 50.97% and Richards is 50%. With regards to face-offs, every percent is magnified over the course of a season.

“Well OK fine, but this is about goals!” Goals, I know, those things Carter has scored more off over the last 4 seasons. 127 to Nash’s 124. We won’t get into linemates and the fact that Carter played for a team that didn’t completely suck and all that jazz, Carter’s shot is as good, if not better than Nash’s. That’s what we need, a shot.

But we do need a winger. It’s all about options people. Carter can easily play on Kopitar’s wing, or Richards wing, or, and keep an open mind here, allows the Kings to try something we’ve all wondered about at one time or another, Kopi on the left wing. Insanity. The point is that possible line combinations are notably vaster with Carter than they are with Nash.

Price. Carter hates Columbus the way Rick Santorum hates premarital sex. That’s not fair. Carter has a good reason to hate Columbus. More on why we shouldn’t care that Carter despises his current team in a moment but for now his status as a malcontent means he will not be fetching the king’s ransom that Nash will, despite his scoring prowess and long term contract. Where Nash will command Brown or Johnson and Bernier and more, Carter could be had likely for a pick and a strong prospect. Zatkoff/Jones and a first. Maybe Martinez, tops. You may think I’m crazy but I don’t think any team is about to offer up close to what Columbus paid for Carter last summer.

Then there is also the price of the contract. Carter comes with more years, but at over $2.5 million less per year. That’s a third line winger or raise for Voynov right there. That could be the difference in Quick’s salary.

Perks. I am a big fan of intangibles. Carter doesn’t bring them. Least not the kind you think about, character, work ethic, leadership. No, he brings an ego, one I think could be well stroked by Los Angeles. If there is one thing I am willing to bet motivates Carter a great deal, it’s women. Another P word. Well, enjoy success in Los Angeles and you will have the nations best crop of bimbos and boob jobs to choose from. You could look at being a partier as a negative, but I look it as extra incentive to do well. But let’s not discount his friendship with Richards. Pals, the final word in my little mess of forced alliteration. Acquiring Carter will not only add the goals that he brings, but it is reasonable to believe he will elevate Richards’ game as well. The two have chemistry together and being reunited on the team if not the same line should invigorate both of their games. I know the former Flyer thing pisses everybody off, and it should, but perhaps getting a close friend of a player will offset the bad karma Lombardi has accumulated by trading his star’s best friends. Though I do have to wonder if getting Carter would make Doughty jealous…

So with all that said, I think Carter is the smarter move.

However, emotionally… I want Nash.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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39 replies

  1. Fuck it, trade Kopi and DB and just get both, i good hockey trade and see what happens.

  2. I like the Carter over Nash trade. CBJ doesn’t have us by the balls and we won’t have to give up nearly as much. Plus CBJ wants to get rid of carter and his salary as much as we want a scorer. They almost offset each other. The long contract is really the only downside but the salary cap hit is lower. This also may scare other teams off. Could be the smartest decision at the deadline. Could even also pick up some front net presence type of player.

  3. That Kopitar half-effort made me spitting mad too. I couldn’t believe his lack of effort. The Kings failure to move their feet and skate in the offensive end seems to be their number one failure that I, as an X’s and O’s hockey novice, can observe.
    It seems that this team is getting addicted to “the big move”, or “the big crisis”, and only really does it all when something is shaken up, or when they are back in the pack and underdogs again.
    If that is the case, then a full-scale shakeup isn’t such a bad idea. I would not be adverse to seeing core players leave. It may be a “do something different” solution, but this team will never get past the first round.
    And I know that Bobby says that he doesn’t care if the Kings are boring to watch. I do. I can not tell you how much I miss good offensive hockey. I can’t watch this current team win all the battles and lose the game for another season. So, mark me in the “do something different” column. I want a team that isn’t counted out as soon as the other team scores.

  4. I would be more than happy to get Nash and Carter for Bernier, Johnson, Brown and either of Penner,Stoll or Martinez(preferably the salary dump in Penner or Stoll) plus a 1st or 2nd (preferable a 2nd). If we can get Mason or Sanford(preferably Mason since he’s younger. I’ll take the head problems he has. Our good defense in front of him can correct that.) also in return then wonderful, but I’ll take Nash and Carter for that. This team needs an enima. I’d let Lombardi make the trade then axe him in the offseason along with Sutter and Kompon. Keep Ranford.

    • I would rather have Sanford over Mason and his $2.9 mill cap hit for the next couple years. At the end of the day that package is still not good enough to land both those guys, imo.

  5. Imagine……



    Drewiske n any of the defenseman in Manchester that are ready

    Dump Lewis, Westgarth, Hunter if necessary

    question……If the Kings were to pull a trade for Nash and Carter using the players I mentioned, would they have room to add Parise in the offseason and also sign Quick when it’s time?

    • “If the Kings were to pull a trade for Nash and Carter using the players I mentioned, would they have room to add Parise in the offseason and also sign Quick when it’s time?”

      Yes, they would……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………assuming that the salary cap is raised by about $25M per year. Also assuming that Parise would want to come to LA, which given the teams lack of winning and terrible offense, I can assure you he wouldn’t.

      So it’s a moot point at best.

      • I had to ask. I don’t have the time to do the research so I figured someone could answer that pretty quickly. The bigger point is whether Parise would want to come. Who the hell would want to come to this situation right now in terms of offense? I’m sure Deano was thinking of this when making his comments in the beginning of the year about the team needing to step it up a notch. It serves many purposes obviously, but definitely makes an obviously tough job marketing to potential fee agents to come here a lot easier. But he has also created that problem with his philosophy. On the flip side if the Kings could just make it to the playoffs, I believe we have a team built to contend in terms of defense and goaltending. Crazier things have happened. It just takes a little spark and suddenly some offense comes and it is on.

  6. Well Surly, I sent an email to Scribe about an interview w McSorley on puckdaddy radio today. I know that Scribe hates McSorley, but that isn’t the point. I’ll assume other than illegal sticks that he understands the game at least as well as we do.

    His comment on Carter was roughly to the affect that 1) the issues around the partying and especially as linked to his relationship w Richards raises flags. 2) If they do the trade, it doesn’t function and a new GM comes in, then he’d be strapped with a difficult contract and bad situation right from the git go.

    One more comment, but in a separate thread:

    • I’d be curious to hear that interview. I actually am a big McSorely fan. I’m sure McSorely understands the game well, but you just can’t talk about this issue as if there is a rule book written about it, like there is a definite answer as to whether this matters or not. There just isn’t and in general, how one feels about it is more to do with their bias towards what is considered appropriate behavior than what truly matters to the dynamics of a hockey team.

  7. “Well, enjoy success in Los Angeles and you will have the nations best crop of bimbos and boob jobs to choose from. You could look at being a partier as a negative, but I look it as extra incentive to do well.”

    Awesome Surly.

  8. Wrt the comments that there may have been an issue between Carter and Richards in Philly, for all the people who say they don’t care and that the press most likely blew it out of proportion and all: my response to that is, you’d better be damned sure of that. And the only way to be certain would be to know insiders.

    I don’t imagine that anyone posting on this site is privy to truly inside information, so that being a given….. a trade like that for Carter is a huge risk. And if they do do it, and it doesn’t work, I’ll be back on this site in a year saying ‘I told you so’. And if they win a cup or get thru three rounds I’ll say, wow, it was a big risk but it paid off. But I’m not expecting that, nor do I think that Carter is enough to turn the fortunes of the team around dramatically enough.

    The teams problems run deeper than that.

    • Carter and Richards’ partying was SUCH a huge problem that they were only able to go deep in the playoffs three years in a row. Must’ve been rough.

      We don’t have the massive ego of a Pronger on this team, a guy who needs everything to be his way or no way. You could look at a lack of that type of guy as a problem, but why is the burden on us who don’t care about partying to be “damned sure” it wasn’t blown out of proportion. Are you “damned sure” that two guys partying in their free time is a clear detriment to a hockey team finding playoff success?

      • Agreed! Pronger was most likely the problem in the locker room, especially after his stealing the pucks incident in the SCF against the Hawks, i’d be embarassed if i was on that team. Speaking of the SCF against the Hawks, the Carter Richards combo was so bad they got them to within 2 games of winning it all.

        • Um. personally I’d also consider the fact that they were surrounded by players named Pronger, Briere, Hartnell, JVR, Giroux, Simon Gagne.

          So that makes Pronger, Briere, Hartnell, JVR, Richards, Carter, Giroux, Gagne and Pronger and Timnen.

          In LA you’re asking Carter and Richards to do it essentially with the help of Kopitar. Not QUITE the same thing. You’re asking a combo of two guys where there were questions around them to become your leadership group.

          You say yes, I say no and that’s what makes horse races. Otherwise everyone would bet on the same horse.

          • Misspelled Timonen, and also w all due respect I left Doughty off of the Kings leadership group and Quick in spite of the fact that Doughty hasn’t really played like much of a leader this year.
            Just want to be fair to both sides of the argument.

          • Well the big difference is that we wouldn’t be bringing in Carter as part of the leadership group. That is already supposed to be in place… supposed to, because I’m not sure it’s the right leadership group. But if Carter was brought in that wouldn’t be his role, it would just be “go out and score goals, dummy”

            And all those players Carter was playing with have nothing to do with the fact that Jeff’s shot is deadly.

        • And since we’re on the subject, the year that they led the Flyers within a game of the cup, Carter had 7 points in 12 games, so he missed some games and was a -5.

          I don’t see that as a major contribution to winning a cup.

      • Surly: 2 points. One, Bobby told me that you appreciate McSorley so thought you’d also appreciate the info.

        As for Carter and Richards, if it was Just that, something blown up by the press etc, I’d say fine. But it isn’t just that.
        Absolutely not. I’ve heard twice exactly, commentators on natl tv talking about Carter and taking him to task for disappearing or not having a complete effort.

        That imo qualifies as a risk. What was the last time you heard about Malkin, Kunitz, Datzyuk, Zetterberg, Holmstrom, Bergeron, Lucic, etc etc being dogged by questions like that? Think about it. Hey, I respect your opinion and please don’t feel like I don’t.

        I remember peeps banging on about getting Heatley when he wanted to leave the Sens. Clearly a very different dynamic, but it was screaming to me that there were character issues. Well, he had I believe 5 goals in over 30 playoff games for the Sharks and it was sayonara.

        Had DL done his job w a minimum of balance they probably wouldn’t be in a situation of Having to make a trade that has question marks all over it. That’s my point.

      • Surly….. I’ve said that I’m not damned sure that it’s a detriment. What I said is that it would leave question marks. Maybe it would work out amazing and the Kings win the Cup. That’s great.

        And if per chance it doesn’t? Then what? What exactly do you do with the contract? Remember last year when everyone was saying to go for Penner. Most people thought that would work out great.

        Just goes to show that there are no guarantees.

        My issue isn’t even so much whether something would work out. It’s more about a GM focusing his building in such a manner that he’s now put himself in this position.
        It’s not like it’s Dave Taylor’s fault. Had Lombardi had the sense to also draft some skilled forwards earlier on the possibility exists that they might be scoring a few more goals. And many feel also that it’s system induced. If that IS the case, DL is the one who pretty much dictates the system. So….. for me this isn’t even about Carter or not Carter.

        • I agree with your last point. I said that in the article, I don’t think any trade fixes this team, though you could convince that a core shake-up is in order. I’m speaking strictly if I HAD to trade for one of these two guys, Carter or Nash, there are a lot of reasons why Carter would be the way to go over Nash.

  9. Bingo. Wbo doesn’t want Nash next to Kopi/ Richards? But the price is a franchise wrecker. Carter makes sense. IMHO, the 2010 Flyers arent the complete team (goalie, dmen) the Kings are. Carter could be it

    • MiK3 – if the Kings were a complete team they would’ve scored more than 5 goals (6 w empty net) in the last 5 games.
      That isn’t an anomaly. It’s been w little variations like that for most of this season.

      To me that isn’t the mark of a complete team. It’s the mark of a good defensive team that clearly has either chemistry issues and/or a lack of skill and depth up front.

  10. Dont get the logic here. Trading a star for a star is a good idea for the Kings, so Kopitar for Nash helps the Kings, but making a hole by trading Brown for Nash doesn’t help the Kings?

    Except that Nash fills that hole…

    Also something everyone seems to forget, always, when they talk about these things, and this has come up with the people against trading Bernier, is that you can always make another deal.

    It’s like, “I would trade our 3rd liner for the 1st liner, and that would fix our first line, BUT THEN WHAT ABOUT OUR 3RD LINE?”

    Then you trade a 5th round pick for a 3rd liner. Done. Or if you trade Bernier, then you find another backup.


    • 3Team, in effect you’re spot on.

      Problem is, DL made a deal to get Mike Richards and gave up grit on the wings during the summer. So he made deals to shore up the holes. He got Hunter and Moreau. They aren’t on the team anymore.

      He made a dea last year to fill a gap on LW. Penner.

      We know how all three of those players have worked out.
      So you have perhaps the confidence that he could rectify the holes that would be created by trading out a lot of pieces to get a sniper. I guess you do anyway.

      • He didnt do it though.

        He signed castoffs. These were super cheap free agent signings, and they were stupid signings.

        Which, you make a good point, not that Im wrong, but that my thesis depends on a smart GM, and we dont necessarily have one. But thats a completely different issue. Im saying a smart GM can fill those holes. Now, granted, we’re also talking apples and oranges. Smyth was a top-six guy. I said the Kings have shitty forward depth, and you cant just find another top-six guy easily. Simmonds was a 3rd liner, yes, but in hindsight he actually had the power forward abilities of a top-six guy, and thats why we lost so much.

        So Smyth, Simmonds, dont really apply here. They are top-six guys, harder to replace.

        As for Hunter, etc, they actually prove my point. They are bottom-six forwards, and they were available, and Dean signed them. Meaning, you CAN fill bottom-six holes. Im not saying he filled them well, he didnt, but thats on him.

        Anyway, in general, filling forward positions is going to be much harder for the Kings. Thats one reason I have not proposed Brown in a trade (although I would be open to it). Im talking strictly the Bernier/JJ/whatever/whatever/whatever trade scenario.

        Im talking about replacing JJ. This blog states that “our depth isnt as good as we think, we cant just replace these guys willy nilly, Simmonds, Smyth, etc proves it.” Im saying thats not true because those are forwards, and JJ is a defenseman, and the Kings are much deeper on defense.

        Thats all my point is. Its an important distinction I think.

        As for Penner, thats just another bad deal or whatever the case. I mean he was definitely overrated in Edmonton, hes missing some things in his game, but he should also be doing better. But lets not go all on the system here, either. Penner is someone who has the Ryane Clowe skillset. Maybe he has a little bit more speed so he gets confused and thinks he can be a finesse player off the rush, but he doesnt have that much more speed. Really, he is a Ryane Clowe type player, thats how he should be playing. He should be getting the puck in deep, and working it behind the net on the boards, protecting it with his butt. Period. Eventually a seam will open up, he can get into scoring position, and use that great shot of his.

        But Penner doesnt do that. He even said in an Oil Change episode that he “doesnt hit” although it may have been a joke. But whether he meant it or not, thats the reality. He doesnt hit. He doesnt fight (less of an issue direectly but it just points to the fact that he doesnt like to get involved physically even though hes big enough. He doesnt like to play big).

        THis is a power forward who thinks hes Jeff Skinner, but hes not skilled enough in the finesse aspects of our game to play like a finesse player.

    • No, because Kopitar for Nash is one for one. Brown wouldn’t be. It would be Brown and another roster player, so 2 for 1 leaves a hole that 1 for 1 doesn’t.

  11. Also youre looking at this on a too general level.

    Yes, the Kings did not have “enough depth” for sure to replace Simmonds, Handzus, Smyth, etc. But those are forwards. They did not have enough FORWARD depth.

    Thats why you have to look at this on a case by case basis? just because the Kings didnt have enough forward depth doesnt mean we can just say “the Kings depth in general is not as good as we think it is and we wont be able to replace our players if we trade them.”

    Case by case. Jack Johnson is a dman, and that is the Kings strength. Im sorry, but Voynov is a stud. Hes so smooth, poised, and smart. I dont see him getting physically outmatched. This is a guy who can reasonably replace Jack Johnson. He really can.

    Jim Rutherford was just on NHL Live talking about how teams always think they are giving up a lot for these stars when they offer up 3-4 good players/pieces, but in reality, its almost always the team that gets the star player that wins the trade, but he’s a bonafide, bankable star, and the other guys dont always pan out, maybe the team that had them overvalued them a bit and fell in love with them.

    Although, J.J is a hard player to overvalue seeing as he has absolutely everything, size, skating, all the tools. And Im so tired of hearing about his +/-. Its a miracle any Kings dman has a good +/- because people forget, +/- isnt just about how many goals you let in, its how many goals your team scores 5on5.

    Where are the Kings in 5on5 scoring? Last. Always last. If JJ played on a team that scored, his +/- would be fine and no one would be talking about his defensive play, because its fine.

    But even so, the team that gets the star player usually wins, and this isnt just a star player, its the best of the best star players, the absolute upper echelon you can get to short of the Sidney Crosby’s of the world.


    Ive been the biggest proponent of Carter on here, but Nash is too good to pass up. I of course want both, dont understand why you dont just do both. Yes, I know, because that would take balls, and thats a problem. But if you forget for a minute how epic and crazy and unheard of it would be, acquiring two stars and big contracts on one day (for a cap team no less), you might actually find that it makes a ton of sense.

  12. Watching the Columbus Vs Sharks game it’s already 2-0 Columbus and Carter had a nice wrist shot goal on the PP. San Jose looks like shot right now I think they are 1-3 on this 9 game roadie so far so NOW is a time for the Kings to get their shit together and start scoring and puts some wins up. We can seize the Pacific if we can start getting goals. So I’d love to see Carter or Nash or Both come to LA. I like our chances of getting out of first round of playoffs if archer the 3rd seed. Not so much if were a 6,7 or 8 or do not even get in. All I do know is that Lombardi will be gone if we do not make the playoffs but get out of first round so I feel he has to pull the trigger. But we all know it could blow up and not work out even if we do get Nash or Carter or both time will tell.

    • Rick Nash just made it 3-0 going to to middle. Niemi pulled. Lombardi imagine a forward on the Kings actually going to the middle and actually scoring it so rarely happens now it would be a regular occurrence if we got Nash or Carter or both.

  13. Damn Carter just scored again making it 4-0
    On the PP with nice back hand in front of the crease.


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