Carter and Richards, together again

It wasn’t that long ago — May 24, 2010 to be exact — that Jeff Carter and Mike Richards simultaneously reached the zenith of their respective careers.

It was the night the Flyers finally dispatched the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals here.

But 13 months later, it all exploded on a day which will live in infamy, as Carter and his monster multi-year deal was shuttled to Columbus, and Richards and his mega contract was sent off to Los Angeles.

Eight months to the day we saw a visibly shaken Paul Holmgren discuss why those deals were made so close together, the Terror Twins are back.

Carter was traded to the Kings on Thursday night in exchange for Jack Johnson and a conditional first-round pick in either 2012 or 2013.

“I think the only way we can make this deal is because we have some young defensemen coming through the system,” said Kings GM Dean Lombardi. “This isn’t your classic trade deadline deal. This is a good young player for a good young player. This is a hockey deal.”

The 27-year-old has endured a frustrating season with the Blue Jackets, fraught with injuries, inconsistent play, the overall gloom hanging over the club, and his own problems dealing with his ties being severed from the organization which drafted and nurtured him.

Still, he totaled a respectable 15 goals and 25 points in 39 games, including two hat tricks — one of which ended up coming in his final appearance in a Blue Jackets uniform — on Tuesday against San Jose.

Los Angeles, currently eighth in the West, has scored 129 goals — worst of all teams in the NHL entering play thanks to a 4-1 loss to the Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Despite dealing with the overall lack of production and an injury-bitten lineup, Richards has fared well with 14 goals and 17 assists in 53 games.

“I am obviously excited. I am familiar with the team and a lot of guys on the team,” Carter said in a quick reaction following the announcement of the deal. And that is an understatement.

Cue another round of Peaches and Herb, as Carter joins Richards along with former Flyers Simon Gagne and Justin Williams as one-time on-ice reps for the Orange and Black, as well as assistant GM Ron Hextall. Add to that the influence of former coaches Terry Murray and John Stevens, and you have what appears to be a familiar if nurturing environment.

While Carter is most likely not “the answer” to unasked questions about the Kings’ contending hopes, Darryl Sutter gets a pure goal scorer in the lineup, one who lit the lamp 46 times in 2008-09 and who has tallied 196 times in 500 NHL appearances.