Reports: Jeff Carter to Kings talk heats up

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The running joke is that the Los Angeles Kings are basically Philadelphia Flyers West, with guys like Mike Richards and Simon Gagne on their roster and deep connections in their front office. That might not even be much of a joke much longer, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Columbus beat writer Aaron Portzline report that the team is in serious talks of landing Richards’ buddy Jeff Carter.

LA Kings’ Insider Rich Hammond reports that if the trade goes down, Carter could play for Los Angeles as soon as Saturday if he passes a physical.

As discussed earlier, the Kings face a tough battle to hold onto the eighth playoff spot in the West. Their most glaring flaw is their inability to find the back of the net, which just so happens to be Carter’s biggest strength.

He’s also significantly cheaper than the Blue Jackets’ other trade target, Rick Nash. That certainly factors into the Kings’ situation because a) they’d rather not gut their entire roster in the middle of a playoff run and b) Jonathan Quick’s contract expires soon, so they’ll need some room to give him a significant raise.

McKenzie reports that Jack Johnson might be part of the deal, but word is mixed on whether big-time trade target/backup goalie Jonathan Bernier might be involved. Stay tuned.