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Jack Johnson Traded

The Jack Johnson saga isn't quite over yet. Carolina finally pulled off a deal, trading Jack Johnson and defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky for defenseman Tim Gleason and center Eric Belanger per TSN(aka Canadian ESPN minus all the know-nothing jackass talking heads, except for Pierre McGuire who kinda sucks).

My initial reaction to the trade is that Carolina didn't get as much as they're giving up. I really like Tim Gleason as a player, but they're essentially trading one of the top prospects in all of hockey for Gleason straight up. Gleason does give them immediate value, but in the long run, I think they'll regret not having Johnson on their blueline. It seems like they gave up a lot, just to get someone that can play right now.

Johnson being traded to the Kings brings up an interesting scenario. Michigan fans already have ill feelings towards the Kings organization after they poached Mike Cammalleri, Jeff Tambellini, and recruit Trevor Lewis. Ever since the Kings have been under the management of new GM Dean Lombardi, the Kings official position on college has pretty much been "We don't hate college hockey, but...". And keep in mind when reading that sentence that there is a lot more emphasis on the word 'but' than there is on the word 'don't'

Johnson is already skating with Michigan and his season will start soon. The only real concern is Johnson leaving Michigan midway through the season, since most everyone expected him to leave after this year, anyway. It will be interesting to see if Los Angeles will make offers to him during the year, but even if they do, given what Jack Johnson passed on to come back to Michigan, I'd be very surprised if he accepted.

Update: Carolina is getting almost universally panned for this deal, which makes sense since they got way less for Johnson than most people thought they could. Not that I necessarily agree with it, but here is probably what Hurricanes GM Jimmy Rutherford was thinking: Carolina wants to make one more run, and possibly repeat as champions this season. There were probably three things Carolina needed to have a legitimate chance at that. First was another defenseman, and they get a pretty talented defenseman in Tim Gleason that can contribute right away as a 3rd or 4th defenseman. They also needed a grinder, similar to the role Matt Cullen played on last year's championship team. They picked that up in Eric Belanger. Finally, the Canes needed a little more cap room to possibly make a deal at the deadline like they did last season. They got that by dumping Oleg Tverdovsky and his massive contract. Getting rid of Tverdovsky is really addition by subtraction for the Canes since he wasn't in their top 6 and was taking up a lot of money. Carolina probably gave up a little from LA in order to get him thrown in that deal.