Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jason Arnott returns to Devils

First it was Bobby Holik before he retired. Then it was Brian Rolston who has come back. Now it is Jason Arnott.

Jason Arnott played 6 of his 16 NHL seasons with the Devils.
(image courtesy: New Jersey Devils)

New Jersey Devils president, chief executive officer and general manager Lou Lamoriello brought back one of the team's past Stanley Cup heroes in a trade with the Nashville Predators this afternoon.

The Devils sent forward Matt Halischuk and a 2011 second round draft pick to the Predators. Arnott was Nashville's captain last season.

As the player who scored the championship winning goal in the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals against the Dallas Stars, Arnott returns to New Jersey at age 35. He put up just modest statistics in a Predators uniform for the 2009-2010 campaign, tallying 19 goals and 27 assists for 46 points in 63 games.

Arnott has career milestones within reach. Entering this fall, he has 383 goals and 490 assists for 873 points in 1,099 games. He also has recorded 1,176 penalty minutes in 16 National Hockey League seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, Devils, Stars and Predators. After his next three goals are scored, he would have 100 regular season tallies in a Devils uniform.

Will he provide a boost to the Devils up front? Remember when Arnott was a force when Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora were his linemates during that championship run?

"Jason Arnott is a player who brings size, strength and experience to our hockey club," Lamoriello said in the team's official news release. "There is no question he strengthens our center ice position."

Sykora may be long gone, but Arnott could team up with Elias again to rekindle some magic they had on the ice. Believe it or not, that was 10 years ago. Regardless of whether or not they'll be paired together again, Arnott will be called upon to produce for former teammate John MacLean, the Devils new head coach.

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