Monday, February 20, 2012

Mike Richards comments on Jeff Carter trade rumors

Richards and Beriner (photo: D. Sheehan)
The rumors are out there. It's inevitable at this time of year. And, given the Kings' lack of offense this season, what else do you expect?

Every few days a new rumor pops up, with this player or that player on their way to LA. So far, GM Dean Lombardi hasn't consummated a trade. However, it's not for lack of trying. His cell phone bill has probably never been higher. Around the NHL, it's a sellers market and therein lies the problem. Too many teams needing players, not enough willing to sell. Prices are high.

Besides Rick Nash, the other name most often linked to the Kings of late has been Jeff Carter - who just happens to be Mike Richards' best friend.

"I talk to him probably three or four times a week," said Richards, commenting on the close relationship they've maintained after both were traded out of Philadelphia over the summer.

Now, Carter may be on the move again. Columbus thought they had finally hit the jackpot last June, dealing for a grade-A center to play with Nash. To say it's been a nightmare would probably be an understatement and the Blue Jackets are currently looking for somebody to jump in and take over his long-term, big money contract.

"There's no secret to the possibility of him being traded," Richards said. "Obviously, if he came here, that would be a benefit to our team. But, we don't want to give a lot of things up because I think we have a good group here too."

He nailed it, that's the problem. Columbus is believed to be asking for a package that includes Jack Johnson and/or Jonathan Bernier in return. In an article here last week, we discussed the challenges such a move brings for the Kings - namely, Jonathan Quick is a walk away free agent in less than 18 months.

Even so, as Drew Doughty admitted the other day, things are becoming pretty tense around the Kings locker room.

"I don't know if that's because of the trade deadline or if it's because people are more focused with where we are in the standings and how important the games are," Richards said regarding the atmosphere of late.

With the NHL Trade Deadline just a week away, a decision one way or the other will be made soon. Until then, things won't be easy though.

"It's just tricky with some of these trade (rumors), it's hard - especially for some of the rental players. I'm not a big believer in that. Rarely does it ever worked out," explained Richards. "But, it's one of those things where people have a lot of pressure. It's a business, as I learned in the summertime, and there's a lot of pressure on people to make the right moves...Nobody really knows what's going on. You hear a lot of the rumors, but you don't know exactly what's going on. It happens in sports though. It's happening with us right now, but we can't be distracted by it. We just need to play hockey."

The Mayor


Kings locker room is tense because of all the trade rumors, per Doughty

Trade Rumors - five things at play for the LA Kings

Ray Whitney sounds like a guy on his way out of Phoenix


  1. Here is how you transform the Kings into a team that can score goals, once and for all, and it's all completely doable. Just to demonstrate how doable it is for the Kings, I will attempt to overpay, make offers that are even a bit overkill, just to show that it is doable no matter.

    You trade Jarret Stoll to Philadelphia, or anywhere, for the best return you can get. If no one wants him (this is the overkill/worst case scenario part), you waive him, and if you have to, you bury his contract in the minors for the rest of the season.

    You do the same with Dustin Penner.

    Then you trade Jack Johnson, Jonathan Bernier, *, a 1st round pick, a 2nd round pick, Dwight King, Jake Muzzin, Brandon Kozun (this is the overkill part, although the Kings have plenty of prospects and few roster spots, so they can afford to put in a couple extra if need be) for Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, and a Grant Clitsome or another cheap Columbus defenseman. If you can get them to throw in a depth forward who can help you, too, thats great, if not its not a deal breaker.

    * = Matt Greene. You would include him in the deal to make cap room if Columbus would take him. If they would not be willing to take him, then before making the deal with Columbus you would either trade him somewhere else or waive him and potentially put him in the minors.

    The end result.


    Rick Nash - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
    Dustin Brown - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
    The bottom six would be the same as now, minus Jarret Stoll. You would look to upgrade that separately.


    Mitchell - Doughty
    Scuderi - Voynov
    Drewiske/Martinez/Hickey/someone you acquire in a separate trade for a mid-round pick - Grant Clitsome/CBJ dman/someone you acquire or a hidden gem you sign from the AHL

    In one day, this would take the Kings from the 30th ranked offense in an offensively challenged league to having probably the best top-six forward group in their franchise history.

    And the only "core" player they would have to give up of their current roster to make this happen is Jack Johnson. Stoll is their third line center who is a UFA anyway, Greene is a bottom-pairing defenseman, and Penner is also a UFA having a bad season.

    From 30th offense to best top-six in franchise history, and maybe the entire NHL. From 30th to 1st in a sense. The only core piece you lose is Johnson, and if there is one thing you have in your prospect pool, its a ton of offensive defensemen.

    The Kings have the young defensemen to replace Johnson. As for Bernier, Greene, even Stoll, you can always find another backup goaltender, another bottom-pairing defenseman, and even another third-line center.

    What you cant usually find is a top line goal scorer, let alone two. And make no mistake, the Kings need at least two more core snipers. Just Carter will not fix this team's problems. Even Nash by himself wont. You need both.

    In my opinion, that deal is a home run, even with the overkill version where you have to give up extra prospects. How can it be a deal that I know columbus would want to do, but also a home run for the Kings? Well, thats why its a damn home run! Normally the other team wouldnt want to do a deal that helps you so much, because that usually means it doesnt help them. But the circumstances are so crazy and unique in this case with Columbus, thats why its such a rare opportunity for the Kings to transform their team, and thats why they have to go all in for this one and just do it, get them both, because there wont be another home run opportunity like this any time soon.

  2. just to overkill the overkill, if it takes a second 1st round pick in the package, on top of Johson, Bernier, the 1st, the 2nd, and the three prospects, I do that, too. Lombardi would probably waste that late 1st round pick, anyway, its really not as valuable as people think when its in his hands, this is a unique opportunity to get two sure things, to sure fire elite goal scorers, so if I have to give up an extra 1st round pick that probably was never going to turn into a good sniper anyway in Lombardi's hands, I would even do that.

    Not that, again, I would actually have to make that decision. That would be such a huge package, way more than Darren Dreger says Columbus is looking for for these guys.

    But just to prove my point. Even if you have to add another 1st round pick, its still a good deal for the Kings. I mean its Rick fricken Nash and Jeff fricken Carter. They completely transform your team. No more waiting year after year hoping to maybe overpay for the one sniper who is available in free agency and five other teams want who doesnt want to come to LA, anyway. That waiting has gone on for years, it would probably keep going on for years.

    This puts an end to that BS, once and for all, its just over, in one day. And after that one day, not for the next decade (give or take) will Kings fans have to wish their team was as exciting as the other teams, or could score like the other teams. No more of that BS. In one day, in one deal, you make that deal, and everything changes. The team, the organization, the entertainment, the skill, the confidence, the attitude, the Cup hopes. That is a deal that finally gives this team a backbone offensively.

    I just hope Dean sees this one as clearly down in the thick of all the craziness as I do from the aerial view, removed from the chaos, where I can see the situation clearly.

  3. I agree with the two comments above. Go after Nash and Carter. if I were a fan of any other team I would not want carter but since we are LA and have his best friend Mike Richards on our team with whom carter has proven chemistry I feel it would be a good move, then you got Nash to play on the to line with Kopitar to add offense on the top line, it will be brilliant. The only downside is losing Johnson and Bernier. We'll miss Johnson's favorable contact for a high scoring offensive defense man and Bernier as a stellar backup to quick but the offensive upside well be tremendous! The only other thing to think about would be Quick's UFA situation next year cause if he does walk and we don't have Bernier it will hurt like crazy!