Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jeff Carter Is A King

The goal-starved Los Angeles Kings reportedly acquired three-time 30-goal scorer Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first-round selection in either the 2012 or 2013 NHL Draft.

Multiple media reports said the deal has been completed, contingent on both players passing physicals.

Despite all All-Star season from goaltender Jonathan Quick, the Kings are scrambling to hang on to the last playoff berth in the Western Conference because of continual goal-scoring woes. L.A. has just 125 non-shootout goals in 61 games, a League-low 2.05 per game. They are off until Chicago comes to the Staples Center on Saturday.

Carter has three NHL seasons with 30 or more goals and five with 20 or more during his six-plus season career. The 27-year-old is signed through the 2021-22 season after inking an 11-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in November 2010. Carter was traded by the Flyers to Columbus on June 23, 2011.

In 500 regular-season games with the Flyers and Blue Jackets, Carter has 368 points (196 goals, 172 assists), 302 penalty minutes and a plus-40 rating. During his six seasons with the Flyers Carter averaged 30 goals, 57 points and 77 games played. He has 15 goals and 10 assists with the Blue Jackets this season while being limited to 39 games played due to injuries. Carter is second on the Blue Jackets in goals and leads the club in power-play goals with eight. He is one of four players this season to score two hat tricks; his second came against San Jose on Tuesday.

Carter has also appeared in 47 Stanley Cup Playoff games, scoring 13 goals and recording 21 points, along with 34 penalty minutes. He, along with now-current Kings teammate Mike Richards, helped the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2010.

Carter began his NHL career in 2005-06 with the Flyers, who took him with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft. He reached the 30-goal mark in each of the previous three seasons, including a career-high 46 goals and 84 points in 2008-09. He led the Flyers in goals last season with 36 and was tied for third on the team with 66 points.

Johnson, 25, has 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) and 24 penalty minutes in 61 games for the Kings this season. In 343 regular-season games, all with the Kings, Johnson has 124 points (30 goals, 94 assists) and 256 penalty minutes. He is 1-11-12 with six penalty minutes in 12 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The 6-foot-1, 231-pound native of Indianapolis began his NHL career late in the 2006-07 season after finishing his sophomore season at the University of Michigan. He was originally selected by the Carolina Hurricanes with the third pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. The Kings acquired Johnson from Carolina on Sept. 29, 2006, for Oleg Tverdovsky and Eric Belanger.

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