Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford had explored several trade possibilities this week to replace left wingers Cory Stillman and Erik Cole and bolster the Hurricanes' push to make the Eastern Conference playoffs. Carolina entered Friday in eighth place, one point behind Montreal and one point ahead of the New York Islanders.
Stillman is on injured reserve with a knee injury, and Cole will miss at least two weeks after injuring his hip Tuesday.
"He's had some years where he's scored a lot, and Anson's a veteran player that certainly should be able to help us," Rutherford said.
The 32-year-old Carter, who will join the team for its game at Southeast Division rival Atlanta on Saturday, was one of several names rumored to be on the Hurricanes' wish list. Carolina didn't have to part with one of its 10 defensemen to acquire him, leaving open the possibility of another deal before Tuesday's trade deadline.
"We didn't use the assets that we have made available in respect to the fact that we have extra defensemen," Rutherford said. "I don't have anything that I'm looking at right now, but at the same time the fact that we have those assets, if something falls to us Monday or Tuesday, we have to look at it."
Carter has 10 goals and 17 assists with three power-play goals this season. The 10th-year veteran has 201 career goals and 219 assists during stints with Washington, Boston, Edmonton, the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Columbus.
Carter signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jackets in September and is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
To make room for Carter, the Hurricanes returned Ryan Bayda to Albany for the second time this week. The Blue Jackets will receive Carolina's fifth-round draft pick in 2008.