|Richards and Beriner (photo: D. Sheehan)|
The rumors are out there. It’s inevitable at this time of year. And, given the Kings’ lack of offense this season, what else do you expect?
Every few days a new rumor pops up, with this player or that player on their way to LA. So far, GM Dean Lombardi hasn’t consummated a trade. However, it’s not for lack of trying. His cell phone bill has probably never been higher. Around the NHL, it’s a sellers market and therein lies the problem. Too many teams needing players, not enough willing to sell. Prices are high.
“I talk to him probably three or four times a week,” said Richards, commenting on the close relationship they’ve maintained after both were traded out of Philadelphia over the summer.
Now, Carter may be on the move again. Columbus thought they had finally hit the jackpot last June, dealing for a grade-A center to play with Nash. To say it’s been a nightmare would probably be an understatement and the Blue Jackets are currently looking for somebody to jump in and take over his long-term, big money contract.
“There’s no secret to the possibility of him being traded,” Richards said. “Obviously, if he came here, that would be a benefit to our team. But, we don’t want to give a lot of things up because I think we have a good group here too.”
He nailed it, that’s the problem. Columbus is believed to be asking for a package that includes Jack Johnson and/or Jonathan Bernier in return. In an article here last week, we discussed the challenges such a move brings for the Kings – namely, Jonathan Quick is a walk away free agent in less than 18 months.
“I don’t know if that’s because of the trade deadline or if it’s because people are more focused with where we are in the standings and how important the games are,” Richards said regarding the atmosphere of late.
With the NHL Trade Deadline just a week away, a decision one way or the other will be made soon. Until then, things won’t be easy though.
“It’s just tricky with some of these trade (rumors), it’s hard – especially for some of the rental players. I’m not a big believer in that. Rarely does it ever worked out,” explained Richards. “But, it’s one of those things where people have a lot of pressure. It’s a business, as I learned in the summertime, and there’s a lot of pressure on people to make the right moves…Nobody really knows what’s going on. You hear a lot of the rumors, but you don’t know exactly what’s going on. It happens in sports though. It’s happening with us right now, but we can’t be distracted by it. We just need to play hockey.”