PHILADELPHIA – Jeff Carter says he’s over the shock and anger of being traded and is ready for a fresh start in Columbus.
Carter, the 26-year-old high-scoring forward, says he’s come to grips with being traded from Philadelphia to the Blue Jackets and understands these kinds of deals are part of the game.
On Thursday, he finally addressed the Philadelphia media in a conference call, three days after he did the same for Ohio reporters.
He didn’t want to discuss the circumstances of his trade from a championship contender to a team always on the outside of a playoff spot.
“I’m kind of focused on what the Blue Jackets are doing here,” he said.
Carter helped lead the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010, and seemed like part of a nucleus that could again contend for a title next season. He was a 2003 first-round pick and had scored at least 30 goals in each of the last three seasons for Philadelphia.
Carter says he loved playing for the Flyers and for their fans. He also apologized for not talking to the media for several days after the trade, sparking speculation he didn’t want to play for the Blue Jackets.
“I loved Philadelphia. I don’t think that’s any secret,” he said. “Coming out to the fans every game is a huge pickup for the team. Can’t say enough about how helpful they’ve been to us over the years and to myself personally. I met so many great people in my time in Philly, away from the game. My teammates, I can’t say enough good things about them. I made a lot of lifelong friends.”
His best friend is former Flyers captain Mike Richards. The two were traded on the same day within 30 minutes of each other. Richards was sent to the Los Angeles Kings, and Carter was traded to Columbus for forward Jakub Voracek and two draft picks.
“It was definitely a tough time for both of us,” Carter said.
In 2008-09, Columbus had 41 wins and 92 points, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time. They have not been back since, finishing below .500 in each of the last two seasons, registering 79 and 81 points, respectively.
“I’m excited to go to Columbus and have a fresh start and a new opportunity there,” Carter said.