The Washington Capitals finally have the veteran second-line center they have been seeking all season, making a move just before the NHL trade deadline. The team has acquired Jason Arnott from the New Jersey Devils for center David Steckel, according to a report by David Millard of Sportsnet.ca.
The 36-year old Arnott has plenty of Stanley Cup experience from his days with the Devils, and remains a very solid player even at his advanced age. He has 13 goals and 11 assists in 62 games for the Devils this season. He also does not have a long-term contract, so this is very clearly a move for this season and this season only.
A couple weeks ago, our own Adam Vingan recommended the Capitals acquire Arnott at the NHL trade deadline.
Putting Arnott on the second line would make the opposition think twice before putting their best defenders against the top line. He has scored 20-plus goals 12 times (including 10 of his last 11 seasons) and 30-plus goals three times. Arnott is an excellent two-way player that plays great defense while also using his size to wreak havoc in front of the net.
Arnott's contract expires at the end of the season, so if things don't work out, the Capitals would not feel obligated to re-sign.
In return, the Capitals will surrender Steckel. Steckel is very good at one thing, ranking as the league leader in face-off percentage among centers, but was largely a one-dimensional player otherwise. He too has a somewhat prohibitive contract, as he's owed $1.1 million for the next two seasons following this one.
For more on the trade, visit SB Nation's Capitals blog Japers' Rink.