Jeff Carter trade
Jeff Carter was traded late tonight to the LA Kings in exchange for defensemen Jack Johnson & a first round pick, ending his short stint with the Blue Jackets after just 39 games.
Despite the absurdity of trading this contract for the second time in under a year, I think this will be a good move for both sides. The Kings desperately needed offense. They also have a very structured defensive system that will likely mask Jeff Carter’s defensive deficiencies. Ultimately if they can get the puck on his stick, he will get them the goals they need. Just beware of his non-existent backchecking!
Johnson on the other hand really needed a change of scenery. I think he has potential to be a lot better than he is, but Columbus has to give the kid some rope and not expect him to go out there and shutdown the Western Conference’s elite every night. It won’t happen.
Rick Nash to NYR?
All of which leads us to Rick Nash, who I believe will be traded to the Rangers before the deadline is over. The Rangers are really the last team in the running and unless another team swoops in last-minute, I have a hard time seeing Nash being moved elsewhere.
I was initially vehemently against this trade when Kreider was being rumored to go in the other direction, but after Larry Brooks’ report on Thursday that Sather won’t move him (or MDZ, McDonagh, or Miller for that matter), I feel a lot better about it. The final trade in my opinion likely includes Dubinsky, Thomas, and either McIlrath OR Erixon. It’s a tall order, but it’s doable.
The Rangers have been floating Dubi at the deadline for the last two years. Thomas becomes expendable if we have Nash, Kreider, & Hagelin on the leftside. McIlrath should end up being a good hard hitting defensive defensemen, but is he really needed when your top 4 is Staal, Girardi, MDZ, & McDonagh? Hard to say. Whether he or Erixon goes probably depends on whether or not CBJ wants a future puck moving defensemen or a stay at home guy.
The real issue with this potential trade is Nash’s $7.8M cap dent. I have to believe if Nash is coming to the Rangers, there has to be a second deal to unload another RFA contract, especially with the CBA talks & cap uncertainty looming.
Dubi and prospects just doesn’t cut it. In my opinion that guy has to be Artem Anisimov. Whether he’s included in the Nash deal (maybe instead of Thomas) or moved in a separate deal, I think he is your cap casualty. Arty has been a solid player for the Rangers, but he’d probably be better off in a system less reliant on deep forechecking and end-to-end skating.
Well that’s my thoughts. However it goes down, hopefully Sather will be patient and continue to let the cost come down. One thing is for certain, how Sather plays this will likely define his legacy as the Rangers GM.
***Update: There are rumors floating that Dustin Brown may be available as well. Although I don’t think Brown will be traded, Sather would be smart to leak our interest in him. The more trade candidates that are available on the market, the more leverage Sather ultimately will have in the Nash talks.