Kings Add Draft Selections & Create Cap Space in Jeff Carter Trade

The Los Angeles Kings originally acquired Jeff Carter in 2012 via a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Kings sent the Blue Jackets Jack Johnson and a first-round pick which ended up becoming Marko Dano. Carter has been one of the best centers on the Kings roster in the last decade. He has everything you would want and need from a power forward. He has a big frame, at 6-foot-3, 216 pounds, is a very good skater, and has been a stalwart over the last nine full seasons for the Kings.

Jeff Carter
Former Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) during the NHL game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena. (Photo By: Andy Martin Jr)

He has only missed significant time with the Kings in 2016-17 due to injury, otherwise proving to be a reliable scorer and point producer for Los Angeles. Carter had a long and successful career, winning two Stanley Cups and many other honors worthy of a spot in the Hall of Fame. During the 2021 trade deadline, the Kings traded Carter to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick with the Kings retaining 50% of Carter’s salary.

Carter’s Career in Los Angeles

Carter has been one of the Kings’ most reliable centers over the last decade. He plays night in and night out collecting points for himself and thus helping the team win. When Carter was traded to the Kings in 2012, he went to work, scoring 9 points in the last 16 regular-season games.

As I am sure most people know, the Kings went into the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Carter also went to work in the postseason, scoring 8 goals and 5 assists for 13 points in 20 games. The following season, Carter led the league in game-winning goals, with eight that season. Before winning the Stanley Cup again in 2014, Carter won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in February at the Sochi Winter Games.

Although playing in his first Olympics, Jeff Carter already boast an impressive NHL and international playing resume (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

During his career, Carter was selected to two All-Star games. Overall, Carter had a very solid career in LA. He won two Stanley Cups, was invited to an All-Star game and even led the league in playoff goals during the Kings cinderella run to Stanley Cup in 2012. As for his statistics, Carter put up solid numbers. Carter spent half his career with the Kings, playing in 580 games. In those 580 games, Carter scored 194 goals and tallied 189 assists for a total of 383 points, a rate of 0.67 points per game. It is sad to see the old core lose one of its mightiest and most popular pillars, but the cycle of life continues on the world of the NHL and the King have a bright and talented pool of prospects to carry them to many Cups in the future.

The Final Verdict

It is sad to see Carter go. He has been such a good player for the Kings in the last decade but there is one thing all NHL players suffer defeat to – father time – and Carter is no exception. He is a fresh 36 years old and he has a year left on his contract from the Kings, of which they are retaining 50% of ($2,636,363.50). The one true and logical downside to this trade is the Kings dealt Carter too late to redeem any significant value, be it in draft picks or players, and so what they ended up with is middle-of-the-road selections in draft classes that don’t seem too exciting at the moment. But only time will tell on that front!

Jeff Carter
Jeff Carter (Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE)

The one logical upside to this trade is that the Kings cleared some cap space to allow the signing of pending free agents like Alex Iafallo and to sign more players once the season is up. Carter served the Los Angeles Kings very well and he has been one of my personal favorites on the team as well as one of the favorites amongst the Kings faithful. So, thank you Jeff Carter, and best of luck with the Penguins.

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