Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Former Devil Jason Arnott Returns Home in Trade

By: Tim Brennan

On the same day that their rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, acquired Dan Hamhuis from the Predators, the Devils reached into the Nashville pot and picked out a former player. Jason Arnott waived his no trade clause to return to New Jersey after spending the last four seasons in Nashville. The ex-Devil played parts of five seasons with the team, picking up 97 goals and 124 assists for 221 points in 302 games. Arnott is always remembered by Devils fans for his game winning goal in double overtime of Game 6 against the Dallas Stars to give New Jersey the Stanley Cup in 2000.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has a knack for bringing back players who once played for his coveted franchise (in recent years Brian Rolston and Brendan Shanahan), so this move really isn't much of a surprise. The timing however seems a bit strange when Arnott's contract ends at the conclusion of next season, not to mention that he had served as Nashville's captain for the last three years. Now that Arnott is back in the fold, the Devils are deep at the center position joining Travis Zajac, Dainius Zubrus and upcoming UFA Dean McAmmond.

In exchange for Arnott, the Predators received coveted forward Matt Halischuk and a 2nd round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Halischuk split the year between New Jersey and their minor league affiliate, the Lowell Devils. He played 20 games with New Jersey, picking up 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points and impressing the team with his versatility and speed.

When commenting on the acquisition, Lamoriello explained that, "Arnott is a player who brings size, strength and experience to our hockey club". The Devils GM couldn't have put it any better as Arnott looks primed to hopefully lead the team to another Stanley Cup.

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