Carter soon to join the Kings?

Various sources (TSN’s Darren Dreger, Sportsnet’s Scotty Morrison,Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline) are reporting the Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Dispatch are close to a deal which would ship center Jeff Carter to the Kings. It’s rumored defenseman Jack Johnson could be heading to Columbus, along with a first round pick, but not goaltender Jonathan Bernier. More to come (hopefully) later tonight. Stay tuned….

**UPDATE** Deal confirmed, Jeff Carter to the Kings for Jack Johnson and a first round pick. Bob McKenzie claims deal is now contingent on Carter passing his medical tomorrow.

The first round pick is conditional. If the Kings make the playoffs, Blue Jackets get their first round pick for 2012. If Kings miss the playoffs, the Jackets instead get their first round pick in 2013.

This was a move which had to be made by both clubs. The Blue Jackets wanted to be rid of Carter, who hadn’t worked out as hoped, while the Kings are desperate for scoring punch. This move reunites Carter with Mike Richards, his friend and former Flyers teammate. This could be the move to rejuvenate them, as Richards has struggled this season with the Kings. If so, it could provide a considerable jolt to the Kings offense.

As for the Blue Jackets, they’re getting a quality, top-pairing defenseman in Johnson, and hopefully, he’ll be a better fit for them than Carter was. The addition of a first round pick also sweetens the deal for them. It now remains to be seen what happens with the Rick Nash trade rumors, but at least the Jackets have made a significant shakeup by moving out Carter and the remaining ten years of his contract for a solid return.

This has the potential to work out for both teams, but of course, time will tell.