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There had been grumbling from fans last summer when Carter appeared to be less than enthusiastic about coming from the talent-rich, playoff-proven Flyers to a franchise that has made only one postseason trip in its 11 seasons. And that ended with a four-game sweep three years ago.
Howson said the addition of Johnson immediately improves the Blue Jackets' questionable defense.
"We've got a quality top-four defenseman," he said. "We now have a very good defense."
Columbus dealt one of its top centers, Antoine Vermette, to Phoenix on Wednesday for a minor league goalie and two draft picks. With rumors still flying about Nash, Howson said he expected to be busy through Monday.
Howson added that recent deals will go a long way toward remaking the struggling franchise.
"We are committed to a competitive culture with huge expectations for everybody in our organization," Howson said. "We're looking for every and all opportunities to improve this organization."
Both players have long-term contracts. Johnson has a $4.36 million cap hit in the first year of a seven-year deal that expires at the end of 2018.
In 343 NHL games, Johnson has 30 goals, 94 assists and 256 penalty minutes.
Columbus has sought to remold its team after a disappointing season. The Blue Jackets (18-35-7) are last in the NHL, by far, in wins and points.
"We were patient and wanted to see what was out there," Howson said, without mentioning Nash by name. "I'm really excited about where we're going."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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