Kings-Blue Jackets Preview: Storyline Heyday!
Since we last triggered a firestorm in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets...
IN: AHL call-up Maksim Mayorov, Ryan Johansen; hi, Jack Johnson
OUT: Fedor Tyutin (foot), Derek MacKenzie (concussion), Jeff Carter and Carter jerseys
We may have the most entertainingly dramatic gabmouth outspoken GM in the NHL, and were also involved (twice) in the biggest, most shocking deals of the offseason -- but one day, just one day, I'd like to be out of the maelstrom of media narratives.
Oh well! At least they keep it interesting!
Everyone's weighing in on the Carter deal, and as someone who argued in favor of getting him over Nash, here are my two bits.
Any man who signs a ten year deal and forgoes free agency is pretty dead set on where he wants to be. That's the only time as a player you get to choose your fate. Everyone thinks it's the right thing when good free agents want to sign with a contender, but he was double-crossed before his NTC kicked in. Add in the fact that Philadelphia apparently lied to his agent when the rumors were swirling, and you wind up with a fair amount of anger and shock.
Did the hideout go too long? -- yes, I thought so. But I believe he got over it in time for the season to start. Two injuries hurt his production, but he was still on a 32-goal pace for a full season. He was second on the team in goals, all while facing tough competition.
But if Carter wasn't an ideal fit with Columbus, did that have more to do with his personality or his role there?
Columbus has been searching for a great #1 center to feed Nash the puck for ages. Carter is a dynamic center in his prime, but he's a shoot-first guy, not a play-maker. He averaged an eye-popping 332 shots over the last three seasons, the period of his greatest production. Nash is a great sniper who needs the puck on his stick, too. On the same line, I doubt they were ever going to be a good fit.
All in all, it seems the Blue Jackets are glad to be out from under his contract, and he is glad to be here. Jack Johnson is relishing the opportunity to become a #1.
Let's hope all the distractions and drama fade when the puck drops. There's a job to do.