When we landed Jeff Carter, I told Surly, “didn’t I write about this trade nearly a year ago?” Surly cursed, grunted and spat out some expletive at the trade followed by a “what?” so I let the subject go.
I found the article and it was May 25, 2011 about how the L.A. Kings should acquire Jeff Carter from the Flyers. I wrote then:
I love Jeff Carter.
He is expensive. 5.27 million through 2021. But, is that unaffordable? That is about the cap hit Dean Lombardi was ready to take for Ilya Kovalsuck. If I recall correctly, Dean was also at the 11 to 13 year range with his offer to Kovalsuck.
What does Philadelphia need? Youth. Their prospect pool is bare. They are in desperate need of young offensive defensemen. Let’s see now…what do we have a lot of? If that took you more than 1 second to answer, hang your head in shame.
So, can you see it? One of our offensive defenseman, a pick (this may be the biggest stumbling block as Philly will want a 1st) + a young roster player and some salary going the other way. Oh crap, that is the problem. Salary going the other way. The Flyers are trying to shed the salary to acquire a goalie? This just became complicated. Who goes the other way? Stoll? That could work if Philly is willing to take him. Smyth? Get serious. Salary going to Philly all but guarantees a 1st also goes. So, would you do Jeff Carter for a top defensive prospect, Stoll, and a 1st?
Remember this was before Carter was traded to the Blue Jackets and before the L.A. Kings traded for Mike Richards. The last part is important because my thinking at the time was we needed a second line center.
Before you answer, you are going to ask me if the Kings need a second line center? The answer is yes. If they didn’t, Kopitar’s injury wouldn’t have been a big deal. It was because the kids, Brayden Schenn included, are not established at that position in the NHL. We have solid prospects, but we have the same void going into this season as we did last season – a center that can play behind Anze Kopitar and give us scoring depth.
Could the “move Kopitar to wing” experiment be far behind if Carter struggles at wing or it becomes obvious he is better than Kopitar at the center position?