ST. PAUL -- Saturday was a painful day for Columbus general manager Scott Howson. He had to admit he made a mistake.
During Saturday's third round of the 2011 Entry Draft, Howson owned up to the error of his ways and parted with Nikita Filatov, the No. 6 pick in 2008, by sending him to Ottawa for a third-round choice.
Howson himself made that pick, figuring the offensively explosive Filatov would be the first superstar developed during Howson's regime, which began the previous June.
It never happened. Filatov's three-year run with the Blue Jackets was filled with finger-pointing and acrimony. There were more headaches than goals before Filatov was loaned to Russian team CSKA Moscow in 2009-10. He returned to North America this past season, but split time between the Jackets and their AHL farm team in Springfield.
In all, Filatov made only 44 NHL appearances during pieces of three NHL seasons and scored just 13 goals.
Howson was not pleased his franchise cornerstone had turned into a third-round pick, but saw no way to extricate himself from a situation that looked hopeless.
"It's not a great move and it is not something that you want to do, but I believe we all make mistakes in this business and you have to move on from the mistakes," Howson said Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
"It had just gotten to the point where Nikita requested a change. We were either going to get this level of asset -- which was a third-round pick -- or we were going to let him stay in Russia again. It was just time for everyone to move on. I wish him all the best.
In fact, Howson is still convinced Filatov can be an impact player. He just knows it won't be in Columbus.
"You won't find many more talented players," Howson said. "He's got to sort some things out himself and that happens sometime. This League is full of players that have had to go through two or three teams to become good players."
While dealing with the Filatov situation and supervising the two days of drafting for his organization, Howson was also still dealing with the fallout from the trade on Thursday that brought Jeff Carter to Columbus in exchange for Jakub Voracek and two draft picks, including Columbus' first-round selection.
Carter, who had just signed a long-term deal with the Flyers, reportedly is devastated by the prospect of leaving Philadelphia. Howson admitted Saturday that he has yet to speak to Carter 72 hours after trade, but expects that day to come soon. He has had several conversations with Carter's agent, Rick Curran.
"I haven't spoken to him yet; I will over the next couple of days," Howson said. "My understanding, according to Rick Curran, is that this is a shocking thing for him and he's very emotional right now, so we have to let that settle.
"It's not a concern. I certainly believe there will be an adjustment period when he comes to Columbus. There was for R.J. Umberger. The Flyers do a great job of attaching people to their organization. It's a great place to play, and it is a great city. He made a long-term commitment to Philadelphia and now this surprised him."