Carter, the one-time All-Star and 40-goal scorer, was dealt to the Blue Jackets by the Philadelphia Flyers in return for forward Jakub Voracek and a couple of picks in last week's Entry Draft which the Flyers used to select a pair of centers -- Sean Couturier in the first round and Nick Cousins in the third round.
Because he never had been traded before -- including his time in junior hockey -- Carter said he needed some time to adjust and accept the news.
"It was a tough situation for me," Carter said on a conference call with Philadelphia-area reporters Thursday. "It's something I'd never gone through my whole hockey career, in junior or anything. I understand the game, know it's part of the game. Things had to be done for the Flyers to do what they needed to do. I've thought about it, come to grips with it, and I'm excited to go to Columbus and have a fresh start and a new opportunity there."
Carter, taken by the Flyers with the 11th pick of the 2003 Entry Draft, had signed an 11-year contract with Philadelphia that goes into effect July 1. It was believed that contract, along with the 12-year deal Mike Richards had signed in 2007, made them the twin faces of the franchise for the foreseeable future.
However, about a half-hour after Carter was moved, Richards was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings for forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, and a 2012 draft pick.
Carter's name had been mentioned in trade rumors for some time, but he said learning Richards had been traded as well was a surprise.
"I had heard all the rumors and whatnot for four years," Carter said. "After the season there were a lot of rumors. I was really surprised Richy (Richards) was moved, as well.
"I called him after I talked to (Flyers GM Paul Holmgren) and told him I had been traded. He said, yeah, I got a call from my agent asking if I'd go to L.A. When I talked to him he was in a little bit of shock, too. We didn't really talk much because he had to make a few calls. I think he was disappointed, as well. He hadn't heard any rumors of him being moved. It was quite a shock to him. Definitely a tough time for both of us."
Carter said as much as he's looking forward to starting in Columbus, where it's likely he'll play alongside perennial All-Star Rick Nash, leaving Philadelphia would not be easy.
"It was a tough situation for me. It's something I'd never gone through my whole hockey career, in junior or anything. I understand the game, know it's part of the game. Things had to be done for the Flyers to do what they needed to do. I've thought about it, come to grips with it, and I'm excited to go to Columbus and have a fresh start and a new opportunity there."
-- Jeff Carter
Since the Flyers' facelift, they've signed goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and introduced their new acquisitions to the media and -- if rumors are to be believed -- are contemplating a mega-offer sheet to Tampa Bay Lightning restricted free agent Steven Stamkos.
Carter, who is spending his summer at his New Jersey beach house, has ignored all that news. He's got a new team to worry about.
"I haven't really thought about (the Flyers) too much," he said. "I'm not a part of it anymore. I don't really worry about it too much. I'm just focused on what the Blue Jackets are doing here."
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK