TOMAS Bugg's shock retirement on Friday put Carlton's love affair with recruiting former Giants and the success or lack thereof with the strategy back on the agenda.

Twelve one-time Greater Western Sydney footballers have later been Blues in recent years, but Bugg's exit, because of increasing business interests, leaves just half of those still on the list.

That doesn't include Harrison Macreadie, an ex-Giants Academy member whom Carlton drafted in 2016.

The fact Blues great-turned-list boss Stephen Silvagni previously held the same role at the Giants is no coincidence.

Carlton also made a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, play for All Australian midfielder Dylan Shiel in last year's NAB AFL Trade Period, including flying him to Noosa on a private jet.

Former Blues dasher Dylan Buckley went the other way after being delisted in 2017, signing with GWS, where he will again play this season.

Perhaps only defenders Lachie Plowman and Caleb Marchbank have proven worthwhile acquisitions so far, and even then Marchbank's wretched injury history has followed him to Ikon Park.

There is time for Matthew Kennedy, who is only one season and 12 games into his Blues career, Jarrod Pickett, Andrew Phillips and the newest of the recruits, Will Setterfield, to change that.

However, Pickett will spend much of this year on the sidelines again after rupturing the patella tendon in his right knee in late December.

That came after the No.4 pick in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft started pre-season slightly overweight.

A broken wrist on season eve spoiled 22-year-old Pickett's 2018 campaign.