NHL Trade Deadline: The Los Angeles Kings Acquire Jeff Carter

Fernando LimaContributor IIIFebruary 24, 2012

MONTREAL, CANADA - DECEMBER 6:  Jeff Carter #7 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on December 6, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Blue Jackets defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Today, Dean Lombardi might have made the most controversial acquisition of the Trade Deadline in 2012. Scott Howson, on the other hand, might have pulled off the steal of this year's Trade Deadline. 

Jeff Carter was a very good second-line center for the Philadelphia Flyers. A premium goalscorer evidenced by more than 30 goals he collected during the last three seasons, Carter was the flop of the summer in the NHL.

OK, the Blue Jackets didn't mesh. He and Rick Nash did not have any chemistry whatsoever, but Carter is playing exceptionally bad. 

Jeff Carter has the potential to compete for the "Rocket" Richard Trophy every season and the Kings desperately need a scoring punch to compete in the West.

My grievance does not lie in them surrendering Jack Johnson because of their depth of budding blue-liners. Their prospects include Derek Forbort, Thomas Hickey, Jake Muzzin and Slava Voynov. They can replace the skills of Jack Johnson despite him being a key member of their organization.

My gripes lie in them giving the Blue Jackets a conditional first-round pick. This is utterly paradoxical. This trade's purpose is to allow the Kings a better chance not only to make the playoffs but also to bolster their competition level so they can win the Stanley Cup as soon as possible. 

So, in my point-of-view, Scott Howson can already pencil in another first-rounder for this year. In my opinion, he got lucky this time around because the draft class this year is exceptionally deep at forward.

If the Kings make the playoffs with their as eight in the Western Conference, this first-round pick could translate not only into a forward but also to a defenseman like Slater Koekkoek. They could pick a goalie of the likes of Andrey Vasilevski or Malcolm Subban. Due to their experience with Nikita Filatov, something tells me Subban is on the block.

With two first-round picks this year and shipping off two ineffective centers, Scott Howson has positioned the Blue Jackets for a turnaround. It'll be interesting to see if he's the one at helm come fraft time or if it'll be someone else.

For now, Howson and the Columbus Blue Jackets are the clear winners of this trade.