A season like this is tough to watch, and we all find ourselves being pretty hard on the Los Angeles Kings as they struggle to right the ship. For the rest of November, we’ll be taking some time each day to share why we’re thankful for each player on the team (and some Kings of years past). If you’d like to share your love for a Kings player, past or present, check out our call for submissions.
Our countdown is almost over, so let’s spend some time with one of the most important Kings acquisitions in recent memory...
If you had a time machine and could go back to 2010 and could tell this version of Jeff Carter —
— that he’d be living on the beach with two Stanley Cups, minus several teeth but plus a wife and some kids and some dogs, but that beach was not exactly the one where he imagined playing out his eleven-year contract ... well.
It’d be one heck of a conversation, that’s for sure.
We would be here all day if we really broke down all the great things about Jeff Carter. His goal scoring? The way he’s grown into a quiet leader on and off the ice for the team? That one season he put the Kings on his back when no one else was performing well? His perseverance in getting back to the ice after last year’s devastating injury? The delight he takes in scoring against the Columbus Blue Jackets?
It’s just all so good, I don’t even know where to start.
Wait, here. Here’s one of my favorites. I know I link this one all the time, but it’s just so pretty:
Or this, from last night, where he ended both his own personal goal drought and the Kings’ road power play goal drought:
He’s got 187 goals (regular season and playoffs) in a Kings uniform and they’re pretty much all great.
But let’s turn it over to the readers, who had more than just goals to talk about.
Mads wrote in and told us: “I think about that video of Carts holding his dogs that just has the lower third saying “Jeff Carter - owner of Mack, Bo, and Miley” every day.”
Try as I might, I can’t find this video online anymore — if someone finds it, drop it in the comments! — but I know exactly which one it is, because I specifically took a screenshot of it and saved it on a different computer. And it was some good, good internet content.
In lieu of that video, here’s a picture from 2017’s Kings-with-dogs calendar of Jeff with his furry brood:
And another reader, who I swear is not me but might as well be, submitted this nugget: “Jeff Carter, in the year of our lord two thousand and eighteen, calling Mike Richards ‘Rick’.”
Look, it wasn’t just the adorable rookie hijinx of Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson that dragged some of us (me) into being Kings fans; for some of us, the (now-broken-up) bromance of Carter and Richards was too good to pass up.
I mean, come on.
Anyway, that little nugget comes from a Lisa Dillman article earlier this season about Jaret Anderson-Dolan:
“A-D? He’s like a mini Rick,” Carter said. “Especially when we broke in. Rick brought it every night, just kind of all over the place. He was always that guy that was first to the puck and he (Anderson-Dolan) reminds me a lot of him.”
And then there were several requests for “that picture. You know which one.”
(No, you went back five years in Megan Carter’s Twitter to find this.)
Anyway, we’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for, so we’ll just say: thanks, Jeff, for everything.
Previously in our “Month” of Gratitude series: Kyle Clifford | Nate Thompson | Mike Amadio | Paul LaDue | Jake Muzzin | Alec Martinez | Peter Budaj | Cal Petersen | Ilya Kovalchuk | Trevor Lewis | Dustin Brown | Derek Forbort | Dion Phaneuf | Oscar Fantenberg | Adrian Kempe | Alex Iafallo | Matt Luff | Austin Wagner | Carl Hagelin | Tyler Toffoli | Drew Doughty | Jack Campbell | Jonathan Quick