The Jason Arnott trade made by the Washington Capitals could be one of the biggest in recent memory. As the final minutes of the NHL Trade Deadline quickly approached, the Capitals continued to make deals. Shortly after the clock struck 3 p.m EST, one that could have an immediate impact was made when the Caps acquired Arnott from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for David Steckel and a 2012 second-round draft pick.
Arnott, a 17-year veteran, will now become the elder statesman of the Capitals. He is now the regular season (1,161) and postseason (106) leader in terms of games played and joins MIke Knuble as the only current Capital with a Stanley Cup. Yet, Knuble only played in three games with the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings, while Arnott had 20 points in 23 games to lead the Devils to the 2000 Stanley Cup. Add that to his leadership qualities (he captained the Nashville Predators from 2007-10) and it's undeniable that Arnott knows how to lead and knows to win.
The second-line center position has yet to be solidified this season despite having rookies Mathieu Perreault and Marcus Johansson alternate attempts. There is no question that Arnott will fill that role and make opposing defenses think twice before putting their best defenders on the Caps' top line, which includes Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Arnott has scored 20-plus goals 12 times during his career, including 11 of the last 12 seasons, and 30-plus goals three times.
A proven veteran, Arnott will give the Caps the type of player that they've lacked since Sergei Fedorov left after the 2008-2009 season. Expect Arnott's experience to play a big role in shaping the talent around him in Washington.