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And now we're back to talking Jeff Carter again...

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I suppose we'll just go around and around like this until next Monday at noon.

Kings’ Richards on Carter trade rumors: "I talk to him probably three or four times a week" | ProHockeyTalk

[...] "There’s no secret to the possibility of [Jeff Carter] being traded," Richards told MayorsManor.com. "Obviously, if he came here, that would be a benefit to our team." [...O]n Saturday, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported the following: "They [Columbus] will try to trade Jeff Carter to the L.A. Kings and re-unite him with Mike Richards [...]. There is a sense that the Kings are interested in Jeff Carter — very much so."

Fellow CBC analyst Glenn Healy followed this up by explaining that Carter’s no-trade/no-movement clauses didn’t transfer over to Columbus, so there are no contractual issues preventing a deal.

Yes, because Carter is so happy in Columbus. Good thinking, Glenn. I don't think Carter would block a trade anywhere other than, maybe...no, I can't think of anyone.

Today Portzline talked to Jackets GM Scott Howson, who said that while a deal wasn’t imminent, things were getting close. "We’re waiting for the right deals," Howson said. "We’re getting closer. But we’re not there yet."

He sounds like a used car salesman. Or an agent. "We're getting closer" makes it sound like he's negotiating with someone. But "waiting for the right deals" suggests he's just fielding, and rejecting, offers from multiple sources.

Which brings us back to Richards and the Kings. [...] Their need for offense has moved past critical and into "dire" territory — and it just so happens Richards has kept tabs on his old Philly running mate, who averaged 38 goals per year over the last three seasons. "I talk to him probably three or four times a week," he said.

Does that strike anyone else as being a lot of time to be on the phone with someone you aren't (a) working with or (b) married to? I have no particular point about that. Maybe that's just what you do when you're in your 20s and single. I can't remember.

Anyway, at this point, I have no idea what I'm supposed to wish for here. Who should Lombardi give up for Jeff Carter? Or should he pass altogether?

Considering that Carter is that strange hybrid, the superstar-albatross, maybe I would be okay with Jonathan Bernier (payment for the superstar) and Dustin Penner (rebate for taking on the albatross). Maybe. Don't know.