NHL notes: Carter breaks silence

Jeff Carter (left) spoke Monday for the first time since being traded to the Blue Jackets last...

Jeff Carter (left) spoke Monday for the first time since being traded to the Blue Jackets last week. (QMI Agency/Tony Caldwell)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:59 PM ET

Turns out Jeff Carter wasn't angry at being traded last Thursday to the Columbus Blue Jackets. So he says, anyway.

Carter spoke Monday, emerging after almost four days of silence in the wake of the trade from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Carter told the Columbus Dispatch the trade led to "a tough couple of days" but that his silence had nothing to do with the team he was dealt to.

"My decision to not talk had absolutely nothing to do with being traded to Columbus," Carter said. "I know it's a team that has struggled in the past, but there's a great future there, a lot of young players. I'm excited to be there."

Carter, who had spent six seasons with the Flyers was traded to Columbus for first- and third-round draft picks and forward Jakub Voracek. Carter, 26, went from a contender to a franchise that has never won a playoff game.

The Blue Jackets had not heard from Carter except for a text message exchange with Columbus captain Rick Nash.

So Monday, Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson, coach Scott Arniel and Nash flew to Sea Isle, N.J., to meet with Carter at his home. They had a 90-minute meeting.

"It was great," Carter said. "I really appreciate them making the trip down here to come see me.

"It shows ... they're excited to have me.

"Just sitting down and talking with them, it got me real excited, and wishing the season would start a little earlier."

Sources say Carter was hurt by the trade because he had signed an 11-year, $58-million deal with Philadelphia last November thinking he would spend is entire career there.

Monster move

Pierre McGuire -- the zestful hockey analyst whom fans either love or hate -- is leaving TSN to focus on his jobs in the U.S., according to the Montreal Gazette.

McGuire has been with TSN since 1999. During the past five years he also has picked up work for hockey analysis at Versus and NBC.

McGuire, who turns 50 in August, will continue to work on TSN radio. He will be moving to Connecticut from Montreal.

It's a chance to spend more time with my family," McGuire told the Gazette. "I'll be doing two games a week for Versus or NBC and spend one night in the Versus studio."

The New Jersey native and his wife have two children.

Muller on move

After missing out on a handful of NHL job openings, Kirk Muller was hired Monday as coach of the Milwaukee Admirals, the Nashville Predators farm team.

Muller, 45, spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens. The Kingston native has been credited with boosting Montreal's penalty-killing -- the Habs ranked seventh in 2010-11.

Muller's name was mentioned in connection with several NHL coaching vacancies including Ottawa and Dallas before taking the job with the Preds' AHL affiliate.

"Kirk Muller was everything we were looking for in our development coach," Predators general manager David Poile said. "With his playing pedigree, experience as a captain and Stanley Cup winner, and his solid communication skills, we feel our young players and prospects are in great hands."

Muller spent 19 seasons as an NHL player, posting 959 points in 1,349 games for New Jersey, Montreal, the New York Islanders. Toronto, Florida and Dallas.

Before joining the Habs, he spent one season as coach of the Queen's University Golden Gaels.

The Canadiens congratulated Muller on the appointment.

We are grateful to Kirk for his commitment and loyal services to our team over the past five seasons," Montreal GM Pierre Gauthier said. "He will always remain a member of the Canadiens family and we wish him all the success in taking up this new challenge."

Hamilton Bulldogs coach Randy Cunneyworth is a leading candidate to replace Muller on Jacques Martin's staff.

Changing affiliates

The Phoenix Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks have new AHL affiliates.

The Coyotes will work with the Portland (Maine) Pirates, after four seasons with San Antonio.

Portland had been Buffalo's farm team the past three seasons, but the Sabres announced last week they were returning to Rochester.

Ray Edwards, the coach with Antonio, will move with the team to Portland.

The Canucks announced a two-year agreement with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

The Wolves had been affiliated with the Atlanta Thrashers franchise, which relocated to Winnipeg. Winnipeg now has a three-year deal with the AHL St. John's franchise, previously the Manitoba Moose.

Blues trio

The St. Louis Blues have given qualifying offers to forwards T.J. Oshie amd Ryan Reaves and 6-foot-7 goaltender Ben Bishop. The Blues will retain the rights of each player as they become restricted free agents.

Oshie had 12 goals and 22 assists in 49 games last season. Bishop appeared in seven games for the Blues, whiles Reaves played in 28 games.


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