Tag:Jack Johnson
Posted on: February 23, 2012 8:38 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 9:06 pm
 

Jeff Carter traded to Los Angeles Kings

CarterBy: Adam Gretz

The Jeff Carter era in Columbus has come to an end almost as quickly as it began.

The Blue Jackets traded the veteran forward to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first-round draft pick in either 2012 or 2013. The deal comes just eight months after the team acquired him in a trade from Philadelphia as one of the focal points of their offseason re-tooling.

The deal is contingent on Carter passing a physical on Friday.

“Jeff is a proven goal scorer in our league," said Kings general manager Dean Lombardi in a team statement. "He brings goal-scoring abilities, speed and at his age he is entering the prime of his career.  We also like his versatility as he can play both center and wing. We also want to wish Jack Johnson the best going forward.”

Columbus initially gave up a package of players and picks that turned out to be Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier (the player the Flyers selected with No. 7 overall pick the Jackets sent to the Flyers), as well as a third-round pick. Turning around and trading him this quickly, at what might be his lowest possible value, for a package that on the surface doesn't appear to be as good as the one they gave up for him initially is certainly eye opening.

Prior to this season Carter had scored at least 30 goals in each of the past three seasons, including a career-high 46 during the 2008-09 season. He appeared in just 39 games for the Blue Jackets this year, scoring 15 goals to go with 10 assists. He still has 10 years remaining on his contract that carries a yearly salary cap hit of $5.2 million.

And with that, the firesale is underway in Columbus.

For the Kings, the deal helps to fix their primary area of weakness -- a complete lack of goal-scoring -- as the team is currently the worst offensive team in the league and one of the worst the NHL has seen in recent years. It also reunites Carter and his former teammate in Philadelphia, center Mike Richards, as both players were traded by the Flyers over the summer preceding the addition of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and forwards Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr.

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Even though he's appeared in just 39 games this season, Carter would still be tied for second on the Kings in goals (15) as of Thursday night, only two behind  Anze Kopitar.

The biggest piece going back to Columbus in this deal is Johnson, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 draft. He signed a seven-year, $30.5 million contract prior to start of this season, and while he provides a solid amount of offense from the blue line he has had his share of struggles defensively.

This is already the second trade for the Blue Jackets this week, having also sent center Antoine Vermette to Phoenix for goaltender Curtis McElhinney and a pair of draft picks on Wednesday.

Rick Nash's name continues to be the biggest one floating around the rumor mill, and he had been connected to the Kings. At this point it seems that it would be down to either the New York Rangers or San Jose Sharks for his services. Center Samuel Pahlsson is another player on the Columbus Roster that figures to draw a lot of interest before Monday's deadline.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 5:19 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 4:04 pm
 

Nash Dash: How would Nash fit with Kings?

What Nash would look like in L.A. 

By Brian Stubits

In the days leading up to the trade deadline (Monday, Feb. 27) we're going to keep tabs on the biggest name on the block, Columbus Blue Jackets star and captain Rick Nash.

The list of teams rumored to be in on Nash isn't incredibly long and it's the usual suspects that you'd expect to be in on a big-name, high-priced star like Nash. His wish list -- put into song so wonderfully -- was supposedly five teams long with possible Wild cards in the mix too.

We're going to take a look at each of the rumored wish-list teams and how Nash would fit, looking today at the Los Angeles Kings.

There aren't a whole lot of certainties in this Rick Nash trade saga. Who's really on the list of teams he'd OK a trade too? Is that list exhaustive? Would anybody actually pay the Blue Jackets' asking price? They go on.

But if there is one thing that we can pretty much say without hesitation it's that no team involved in this conversation -- except for maybe the Blue Jackets themselves -- need Nash more than the Kings. It's been argued that nobody needs to get Nash more than Kings GM Dean Lombardi. His job literally could depend on it.

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The Kings are an embarrassment to offense. Sorry Kings fans to put it so bluntly, but with 2.07 goals per game that's something you already know. The Kings are in the process of letting an exceptional season from goaltender Jonathan Quick go to waste. If they could have given him just a little more offense this season -- I'll be kind and say about half-a-goal more per game, which would put them in the middle of the league -- he'd be firmly in the Vezina conversation.

But they aren't scoring that man. And it's starting to increase the heat in L.A. Before the season this was seen as a team ready to make that jump, possibly compete. By so far falling short of those expectations, Lombardi's leash is getting tight.

In spite of it all, the Kings are still in the playoff picture, holding the eighth spot in the West. The postseason has to be the goal at this point to hopefully try and keep the momentum going. That's why Nash has L.A. hockey fans salivating.

The great thing about possibly going to L.A. is that it would give Nash the centermen he was waiting so long for in Columbus. He finally got one in Jeff Carter this season but injuries didn't allow them to play together for very long before the trade talk started up. But in L.A. he'd have a couple of quality centers in Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards to play alongside.

From L.A.'s perspective the fit is great. It's not just that Nash is a scorer, but he plays on the left wing. The assumption would be he would join Kopitar and Dustin Brown on the No. 1 line which all of a sudden doesn't seem so bad.

But of course it's all easier said than done. Because as we've noted, the Blue Jackets want a lot for Nash, as they should. The package from L.A. to get a deal done has long been rumored to be Jack Johnson, Jonathan Bernier, probably another prospect and a high pick.

As the Nash world turns, the indications are getting stronger that L.A. is a less and less likely landing spot for Nash at this time. There are other options that might pop up like Ales Hemsky or possibly even some of the Sabres. So as nice as he might fit and go a long way toward solving L.A.'s scoring issues, the asking price might prove too much for even a desperate GM like Lombardi.

More from Eye on Hockey

How would Nash fit with Blueshirts?
San Jose stepping into Nash talks?
Update on Nash, other rumors
Nash down to five teams?
Nash not untouchable for Columbus

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:05 pm
 

Could Kings look to Stastny for offensive help?

Stastny is signed through 2013-14 for $6.6 million per. (US Presswire)

By Brian Stubits

The Los Angeles Kings are still in the playoff hunt and hanging tight behind the San Jose Sharks (who have games in hand) in the Pacific Division. That is all despite bringing up the rear in the NHL as far as goals per game goes and are shooting a putrid 6.8 percent this season.

So if there is any team in the league that needs scoring help at the trade deadline, it's the Kings. Imagine how could they would be if Jonathan Quick had just a little more goal support.

But it's not like top-six forwards are aplenty at this time of year, especially this season. But perhaps there could be one in Colorado as the Avalanche slowly start to slip out of the Western Conference playoff race. Specifically Avalanche forward Paul Stastny.

Before we go any further, note that this is just speculation, nothing more.

With that disclaimer out of the way, here is the gossip from the Fourth Period.

"[The Kings] healthy scratched Dustin Penner and put two rookies (Dwight King and Jordan Nolan) playing their first NHL game this season with Mike Richards against the Islanders, looks like they've hit the panic button to me," an NHL insider said Saturday evening. "I know Statsny is a center, but so is Jeff Carter and Paul only has two years left on his deal and there are zero concerns with his attitude."

With the Avalanche having only eight players presently inked to deals next season, Colorado GM Joel Sherman could use Statsny as an asset to start rebuilding his defense and forward depth. Backliners Erik Johnson and Kyle Quincey are restricted free agents at season's end, while depth defensemen Shane O'Brien and Matt Hunwick are walk-away free agents come July 1.

"The reality is Colorado still hasn't recovered from the Kevin Shattenkirk deal and if Statsny could bring back a defenseman like Jack Johnson in a package from LA, they'd look long and hard at the deal," the source conveyed.

Costs at the trade deadline this year are going to be high, very high. It would take an awful lot to pry Stastny away from Colorado, they aren't exactly scoring goals in bunches that would make him incredibly expendable either. The Avs check in at 23rd in the league in goals per game.

Stastny has been consisent in his six seasons with the Avs, holding the pace again this season. His goal total is likely going to fall in the low-to-mid 20s in goals and assists will get up there in the 40s or 50s. This season he has 14 goals and 22 assists in 54 games. Oh, and he's still just 26.

Good luck offering enough to entice the Avalanche to trade him away. It will take a lot and while Jack Johnson is certainly a good starting point, it would take a little more than that.

As a reminder, you can keep up with all the trade deadline rumors and speculation with our Trade Deadline tracker.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:41 pm
 

Mascots do group Tebow in AHL All-Star Game

By Brian Stubits

For me, perhaps the most memorable moment from the NHL's All-Star weekend was the breakaway challenge in Saturday's skills night. Patrick Kane was exciting with his Superman act and Corey Perry busting out the mini goalie stick to score was good fun.

But the best part of it all was Carey Price, the Canadiens goalie who was in one net. He spun in circles, he made a save playing with his back to the shooter. He even just Tebowed for one attempt. It was a show-stealing performance, at least for me.

The question now is: Was that the best Tebow at a hockey all-star event this weekend?

With much less fanfare, the AHL held their all-star battle in Atlantic City, N.J. on Monday (not technically the weekend, but play along). Of course the event featured a mascot game. Any all-star game worth its weight in salt will have an mascot game.

And it produced the best en masse Tebowing these eyes have ever seen. Yes, better than those high school kids who were punished.

In the middle of their game a turnover led to a breakaway the other direction. Seeing that they're mascots and all, he was clotheslined. The led to the following penalty shot.

Everybody, even the goalie and mascot referee get in on the act. I don't know, maybe we should consult the Guiness Book of World Records for the biggest collective Tebow on this one. Plus, their moves were held a lot longer than Jack Johnson's in-game Tebowing earlier this season.

H/t to Puck Daddy

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:50 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:42 pm
 

Tim Gleason signs 4-year deal with Hurricanes

GleasonBy: Adam Gretz

The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the top teams circulating in the rumor mill right now, and while one of their upcoming free agents (forward Tuomo Ruutu) could soon be on the move, another one has been taken off the market.

The team announced on Monday afternoon that defenseman Tim Gleason has signed a four-year contract extension, a deal that will pay him a total of $16 million, which comes out to a salary cap hit of $4 million per season.

Had the two sides not agreed to a new deal he would have either been an unrestricted free agent on July 1, or been dealt before the Feb. 27 trade deadline as his name was one of the most popular ones in trade talks.

"It’s kind of a nightmare, but it comes with the territory," Gleason said. "I was going somewhere every day for the last month."

Said general manager Jim Rutherford, “We thank Tim for choosing to stay with the Hurricanes long term. He is one of our core players, someone who brings character and leadership to our locker room, along with being a key piece on the ice. This is a very important signing for our team going forward.”

Head coach Kirk Muller added to that sentiment.

"He’s played hard, and he’s done a great job of shutting the top lines recently," Muller said. "The organization is real excited that he wanted to make a commitment to stay here and be a part of what we’re doing."

The 29-year-old defenseman has one goal and 13 assists this season in 51 games, and has recorded 114 points in 599 NHL games. That said, offense has little to do with what he brings to the table for the Hurricanes as he is their go-to player for the top defensive assignments, and is one of the more underrated defensive-defenseman in the league.

Gleason has been with the Hurricanes since the start of the 2006-07 season when he was acquired from Los Angeles in the deal that sent Jack Johnson to the Kings.

Photo: Getty Images

Also at Eye On Hockey

Tuomo Ruutu could soon be on the move
More Carolina Hurricanes news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:05 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 4:27 pm
 

Kings' Jack Johnson Tebows after scoring goal

By Brian Stubits

There's nothing hotter in sports right now than Tim Tebow. He stole the weekend thunder with his huge game in the playoffs to help the Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, including an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of overtime.

Everybody these days likes to do their best Tebow impression, and I don't mean throwing a football like only Tebow can -- which is to say awkwardly. Instead, I of course mean Tebowing, going down on one knee in prayer after a moment of excellence.

Jack Johnson of the Kings doesn't have a whole lot of those moments to celebrate, scoring isn't exactly his forte. This was only his fifth goal of the season. So when he does that, he goes big.

He finished off an odd-man rush for a goal on Tomas Vokoun and the Capitals on Monday night then celebrated his his own style of Tebowing. Here's a still-photo to further capture the full essence of Johnson's Tebow.

Why would Johnson, a University of Michigan product, Tebow after a goal? Consider it more or less a dare from friends who were in town (quotes from the Washington Times).

“After the game, they said, ‘If you score, would you Tebow for us?’” Johnson said. “I said, ‘Sure, deal.' I ended up scoring and I thought, ‘I’ve got to pay up,’

“It’s fun to score. You should have fun,” Johnson said, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. “Have some personality out there and have fun.”

The Capitals on the other end of the celebration weren't entirely amused.

“I understand he’s just trying to be funny, but still it’s kind of a stupid celebration,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “It’s like those teams in the world junior riding their stick giving high-fives across the bench.”

Thanks to Johnson for bringing Tebow to hockey. Maybe now the NHL can get a highlight on the four-letter network.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: December 12, 2011 11:02 am
 

Report: Kings prepping to fire coach Terry Murray

By Brian Stubits

There have already been four coaches fired this season in the NHL. According to the L.A. Times a fifth could be coming this week.

The report in the Times says the Kings are preparing to fire coach Terry Murray. There is no replacement lined up, so the job would likely go to assistant John Stevens on an interim basis.

At no point were the Kings expected to be fourth in their own division -- which has been subpar as a whole -- and 12th in the Western Conference. Moreover, even with the defensive style that Murray runs, the Kings really have no business being the worst team in the league at scoring. Their 2.24 goals per game is the lowest in the NHL, even below Anaheim.

An offensive cast of Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Simon Gagne, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner supported by Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson should be scoring more. Jonathan Quick can only stop so many shots.

Here is what Brown told the Times over the weekend about the way the team has been playing of late.

"We have to be more desperate right now. We have to be more desperate the rest of the year," Brown said Saturday. "We aren't playing with enough intensity or enough desperation. We are a good team and now we are not playing like one."

That never is a ringing endorsement for a coach. Fair or not, players not playing up to their potential will always fall on the bench boss' shoulders. We've seen it a few times already this season. When a team isn't living up to its potential -- or at least the potential that everybody thinks they have -- it's going to be time for the coach to go.

Fair or not, that's the way it works in sports. It's funny to me that in most professions, if the employees aren't getting the job done, it's them who will be fired. Obviously the world of contracts and high-priced ones at that alter the dynamics, so the manager takes the fall.

Adding to the confounding nature of L.A.'s start, so far they have only played 11 road games compared to 18 at home. You wouldn't figure that bodes too well for a team that would like to catch up in the standings.

But the good news for any new coach that takes over in the case Murray is fired? Despite being 12th place in the Western Conference, the Kings are only three points behind the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes for the Pacific Division lead. That doesn't fit anybody's definition of insurmountable.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 15, 2011 10:35 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 7:55 pm
 

Richards hears cheers, boos in return to Philly



By: Adam Gretz


Mike Richards made his highly anticipated return to Philadelphia on Saturday night for the first time since being traded by the Flyers back in June, and he had a rather interesting -- and busy -- night during the Kings' 3-2 overtime win.

Along with winning 13 of his 19 faceoffs  and logging over 20 minutes of ice-time, Richards also assisted on Jack Johnson's game-winning goal and was also guilty of the penalty that resulted in Matt Carle's third period power play goal that tied the game at two, forcing overtime. His play on the ice, however, wasn't necessarily the only thing we were watching for. Almost as intriguing was the question of how he would be received by the Flyers faithful in the stands, a notoriously tough crowd.

Richards, one of the team's two first-round picks in 2003 (the other was Jeff Carter, also traded this past summer), served as the Flyers captain for three seasons and scored over 130 goals before being traded to the Kings in exchange for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second-round draft pick. He had his share of run-ins with the Philadelphia media, but he was also arguably the best player on the team for the past four years.

The Flyers took the time to thank him for his contributions with a message on the video board, which was accompanied by a standing ovation from the sellout crowd. The hugs and kisses, of course, stopped there, and when play resumed Richards spent the remainder of the evening hearing a chorus of boos every time the puck touched his stick, the type of treatment that is usually reserved for Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby within the confines of the Wells Fargo Center. And there's nothing wrong with that. Richards, for whatever contributions he made to the Flyers over the years, is no longer a member of the team, whether it was a result of his actions or not (and it wasn't, he was traded), and fans are well within their right to cheer or boo whomever or whatever they choose during a game.

They acknoweldged his contributions during a stoppage, and then it was back to business as usual: supporting the players that still play for their team.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com