Happy Monday! Please try to stumble carefully towards the internet.
Not surprisingly, a lot of people are still reacting to the Carter trade, and concerned about the fact that he's yet to speak to the media or GM Scott Howson (though there are reports that he's at least texted with Rick Nash and that R.J. Umberger did give him a call this weekend).
We need to remember that this is not about being traded to Columbus - it's about being traded at all. Carter sat down with Philly GM Paul Holmgren, asked him to his face about being traded, and was told he was staying. That's a huge blow to deal with after being traded less than a week later. There's some talk on Twitter that he's going to at least release a statement through his agent today - if that does come through, we'll cover it for you.
Is it a bit of a PR 'oops' at this point? A little, but nothing that Carter coming in and getting a hot start to the season won't fix. Remember that once he hits the ice, all of this will go away rather quickly. Unfortunately, until Carter does come out and talk, his silence will continue to dominate the news - one hopes he realizes that sooner than later, so we can all start looking forward to September.
That said, the Carter deal was still regarded as a positive one by outside observers - so much so that USA Today's Kevin Allen ranked Columbus #3 in their "Draft Winners" based on it alone.
More realignment talk yesterday from Puck Daddy - and Columbus moving to take advantage of more Eastern time zone games seems set. They've mentioned doing "unbalanced" divisions - is it possible we might see two 8 team divisions in the new "Eastern" conference, and two 7 team divisions in the West? Stranger things have happened.
Pro Hockey Talk has some discussion of the "little guys" from this year's draft class. We'd also mention CBJ third rounder T.J. Tynan in that list.
Speaking of our draft selections, Blueshirt Banter had a nice look at 2nd round pick Boone Jenner.
Next on the menu for Scott Howson? Defense, not surprisingly. A third line winger has also been mentioned, as Aaron Portzline is skeptical about the team going back to Scottie Upshall. While I think Upshall is still a good fit in Columbus, I admit that I'd happily part ways if Howson could land Brooks Laich.
The Jackets are also in the market for a goaltender to back up / challenge Steve Mason, and it appears Semyon Varlamov may be parting ways with the Washington Capitals. Could be an option, especially if he's willing to take a lower paying deal to prove some critics wrong. The big concern could be his health, that might end up sending him back to das rodina.
The Kings finally completed the Ryan Smyth deal, taking back Colin Fraser rather than Gilbert Brule. On the other hand, Brule is STILL apparently dealing with an injury, so his life is not automatically coming up roses.
Dale Tallon is expected to be very active in trades and free agency. With Florida well below the cap floor, perhaps there's a trading destination for Mike Commodore after all?
To round things out, Puck Daddy has the 10 most awkward Draft Photos (poor Mika Zibanejad is in a third of them!), and Jakub Voracek and the other new Flyers are saying all the right things as they get ready to start careers in Philly. We wish them luck.