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Blue Jackets ship Jeff Carter to Los Angeles for Jack Johnson, first round pick

Sean Leahy
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Reunited and it feels so good.

Exactly eight months to the day that Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were dealt from the Philadelphia Flyers, the pair are back together again, this time in Los Angeles.

With the apparent price and investment in dealing for Rick Nash too rich for Kings GM Dean Lombardi's blood, he went out and dealt for Carter on Thursday night in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick, according to the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline.

Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider reports that the pick is a conditional one. If the Kings miss the playoffs this season, the pick is a 2013 first-rounder. Should they make it this year the Blue Jackets have the ability to decided whether to use it in 2012 or 2013.

From the Kings:

"Jeff is a proven goal scorer in our league.  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," said Lombardi.  "We also want to wish Jack Johnson the best going forward."

The deal is pending a physical, and if all goes well Carter will be in the Kings' lineup on Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Carter was at a fan event Thursday night as the rumors quickly became reality.

Los Angeles, the NHL's 30th-ranked offense, gets their scoring forward who also has another decade left on his contract with a $5.272 million cap hit per season, while Columbus gets an offensive blueliner who has six years left on his on deal at a $4.357 million cap hit, per CapGeek.

Carter was never happy in Columbus, from the moment the Blue Jackets had to send a search party to get tell him things would be alright once the deal was made over the summer to when it seemed like he'd be staying and Nash might be going (all while he's played some his best hockey of the season of late). It's a good move for them as they move out a disgruntled player as Howson continues "moving forward" as he put yesterday after trading Antoine Vermette to Phoenix.

So in the end, Howson dealt Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier and prospect Nick Cousins for Jack Johnson and a late-first round pick. Huh.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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