Last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets (still the lowest ranked team in the league by a landslide) demolished the San Jose Sharks by a score of 6-3. Of those six goals, three were scored by former Flyers’ big timer Jeff Carter, who up until last night, had been fairly inconsistent this season due to a combination of being injured and supposedly unhappy in his new city. His performance last night has sparked several questions in the hockey world. Is it possible that Carter has been re-energized by being the center of many trade talks? Or is he just finally healthy and returning to form? Rumors have been swirling about Carter’s “bad attitude” and “unhappiness” since his big trade from Philly in the offseason…but can you blame him? How thrilled would you be if you were blindsided by a trade away from your best friends and the place you’ve called home for six years, only to go to the BLUE JACKETS? At least his best friend Mike Richards got to move to beautiful Los Angeles (no, I’m not biased), despite their PATHETIC scoring woes this season.
The NHL trade deadline is Monday, February 27th at 3pm E.T. and the Blue Jackets are not hiding the fact that they are looking to sell. Jeff Carter and Rick Nash are two of the biggest names floating around right now and I’m happy to say that my team, the Los Angeles Kings, are potential buyers in both cases. There was a heinous tragedy that occurred last week. Anonymous hockey blogger, “Eklund” (@Eklund) reported that the Kings and Blue Jackets had struck a deal that would send Rick Nash to L.A. in exchange for Dustin Penner, Jonathan Bernier, Trent Hunter, and a pick. First of all, I am ashamed to admit that I believed such an absurdity, even if it was only for a moment. If they pulled that off, it would have to be the most lopsided trade to ever go down. They’d have been doing us a favor by taking Trent Hunter and Dustin Penner off our hands, and while Scott Howson may be the worst GM in NHL history, I’m going to give him a little bit more credit than that.
I have a feeling that the Kings chances of acquiring Rick Nash are becoming more unlikely with every passing moment, though many sources insist not to rule it out. The New York Rangers are supposedly the frontrunner in the Nash deal, but there are reported to be a few other teams on his list of possibilities as well, including LA. Another potential option for the Kings would be the reunion of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, but in either case, the Kings would have to be prepared to give up quite a bit. Perhaps the biggest bargaining chip comes in the form of backup goalie, Jonathan Bernier. The Blue Jackets could use a goaltender with his skill set, even though he flies way under the radar being in Jonathan Quick’s shadow. He certainly has the potential to be a number 1 goaltender and if the Kings are going to strike a deal with Columbus, they can kiss their incredibly good-looking backup goodbye. As far as any other big players that could be involved in a deal, I’ve heard Jack Johnson’s name floating around a bit.
All I know for sure is that the Blue Jackets are willing to sell both of these guys. To which team they will go, or whether they can make it happen before the deadline…is all a bit uncertain right now. I have my fingers crossed for the Kings to make a big move, especially since there is an immense amount of pressure on Dean Lombardi. He may be experiencing his final days as Kings GM unless he can pull off a massive trade that will lead to some success in postseason (unlike the failed Dusin Penner deal at the deadline last year). Pressure is on Dean, get it DONE!
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