Flyers trade Jeff Carter to Blue Jackets

Updated: June 24, 2011, 1:04 AM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

The Philadelphia Flyers traded star center Jeff Carter Thursday to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Flyers will receive forward Jakub Voracek, the eighth overall draft pick Friday night and a third-round draft pick from the Blue Jackets.

Later Thursday, the Flyers sent captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for prized prospect Brayden Schenn, winger Wayne Simmonds and an undisclosed draft pick. They also signed goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a nine-year deal worth $51 million, a source told ESPN.com.

"Well, I think probably what got the ball rolling for a lot of talk over the last 10 or 12 days was the acquisition of the negotiating rights for Ilya Bryzgalov," Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said on a conference call of the trades. "That set the wheels in motion. Most teams probably viewed us as trying to sign Ilya -- we did come to an agreement today -- and I think that got the ball rolling. I know over the last few days, I spent a lot of time talking particularly with both Los Angeles and Columbus, and that culminated in what happened today."

Carter, a first-round draft pick of Philadelphia in 2003, had 66 points (36 goals, 30 assists) in 80 regular-season games last season. The 26-year-old center has 181 goals and 162 assists in 461 career games.

His presence finally gives the Blue Jackets a top-line center to pair with their best player, Rick Nash.

"The Columbus Blue Jackets are very pleased and excited to acquire Jeff Carter," GM Scott Howson said in a statement. "Jeff is a proven No. 1 center in the National Hockey League and we look forward to him having many productive seasons as a Blue Jacket."

Carter's 11-year, $58 million contract extension, which he signed in November, kicks in next season. He's signed through the 2021-22 season at a $5.27 million yearly cap hit.

Voracek, a first-round pick in the 2007 draft, had 14 goals and 32 assists a year ago.

The deal was a big hit in Columbus, which needed a headline-grabber to sell tickets. Fan websites and the team site lit up with enthusiastic responses after word of the trade came out.

Scottie Upshall, a current Blue Jacket and a former teammate of Carter's with the Flyers, issued a warning on his Twitter account: "Blue Jackets just picked up a World Class player & teammate in Carter. With 61 (Nash) on his wing, look out!"

Carter's agent, Rick Curran, told The Associated Press he was stunned by the news after being told last week that the Flyers were not discussing trading Carter to the Blue Jackets.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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