Back in February, I wrote a blog about Jeff Carter being traded to the Kings and how I felt it was a huge steal for Los Angeles. Carter in any other year would have been tough to trade for with out having to give up more players/prospects, but the Kings hit perfect timing in grabbing him from a team (Columbus) who wanted nothing more to do with him. I thought Carter would help the Kings lack of scoring, but he did much more than that, he allowed Anze Kopitar some breathing room. Carter could play on the power play and penalty kill, which meant Kopitar didn't have to constantly be out there, getting tired and not having enough in the tank to score. Carter did have some issues early on in the playoffs scoring, fitting the tag that he disappears in them, but he was also coming off a ankle injury late in the season. He came on strong towards the finals and ended up being tied for the most goals in the playoffs. Carter had a hat trick against Phoenix in game two of the Conference finals and definitely had more confidence going in to the Stanley Cup.
Carter will probably be most remembered this post season with a huge overtime goal against New Jersey, which made getting Carter the steal it was. The Kings did not give up very much to get him and he ended up scoring when they needed it, helping them to win their first Stanley Cup in team history. Great move by Dean Lombardi, that could end up helping this team for years to come, as Carter is locked up for the next 10 years at age 27, (along with their other off season trade pick up Mike Richards for 8 years).
The deal at the deadline was not just a rental, it was a move for the future and may be one of the best ones the Kings have made since grabbing a guy named Gretzky. I would never compare Jeff Carter to the Great One in a million years, just saying the deal proved to be huge for hockey in Los Angeles, much like the one Bruce McNall made 24 years ago.