Carter shrugs at reports he’s on the trade block

With still four weeks to go before the NHL trade deadline, Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter already is caught up in the swirl.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Dispatch that Carter has been put on the trade block by the Blue Jackets, barely seven months after he was acquired from Philadelphia and deemed the No. 1 center the club has always needed.

“There’s not much I can do about that,” Carter said. “That’s something I can’t worry about or control. My main focus right now is just getting healthy and getting back into the lineup.

“There’s talk about a lot of guys (in here) right now. Our team, with the way the season has gone — the injuries, the standings, and stuff — I don’t think it should come as a surprise to anybody on our team if they end up (in rumors).”

Carter has been out since Jan. 8 because of a shoulder injury. He missed his ninth straight game last night when the Blue Jackets played the San Jose Sharks.

He hopes to play on this trip, perhaps tonight in Los Angeles.

But how many games does he have left with the Blue Jackets?

“I haven’t asked for a trade,” Carter said. “Nothing. I’m here to play hockey.”

General manager Scott Howson would not comment on trade reports regarding Carter, but did acknowledge that he met recently with Carter’s agent, Rick Curren.

Curren also represents Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin.

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