Kings’ Veteran Center Jeff Carter Won’t Play if NHL Season Resumes

Jeff Carter #77 with the Los Angeles Kings in 2017. Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images

Even if the NHL season resumes in the next couple of months, Los Angeles Kings’ center Jeff Carter won’t be on the ice. According to Kings’ general manager Rob Blake, Carter remains sidelined with the core injury and is still a long way from returning to action.

Carter, who hasn’t played since mid-February, couldn’t get the proper treatment in time due to coronavirus pandemic lockdown and is forced to rehab at home. This complicates his recovery, and Kings are obviously not willing to take any chances with the 38-year-old veteran.

“Part of the issue is he needs to travel to see a certain specialist to get further diagnosis, and nothing can be taking place right now,” said Blake for Kings’ official website. “He’s continuing a rehab program from home. He hasn’t been around the practice rink in that aspect, but I wouldn’t expect him to be able to play if our season were to start in the next couple of months.”

There’s really no incentive for Los Angeles Kings to play Jeff Carter as the team finds itself far from playoff contention and sits on the bottom of Pacific Division with 29 – 35 – 6 record. But, Carter sitting out could also mean that he played his last game in Kings’ jersey.

Kings are in rebuilding mode and are reportedly considering trading Carter in order to make space for some of their younger players. Also, the franchise would benefit from getting his contract off their books as he is owed around $10.5 million in the next two years.

Carter, who has two Stanley Cups with Kings, played 60 games this season, contributing with 17 goals and 10 assists for a total of 27 points.