Finallly, GM Doug Armstrong has done something this offseason. After signing some low-key free agents such as Brian Elliott, Brett Sterling, Kent Huskins, and Scott Nichol, the Blues were able to sign veterans Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner to 1-year contracts on Wednesday. This move has added the depth,veteran leadership, and Stanley Cup experience that this team has lacked in the past couple of seasons. Though, both are coming off sluggish seasons, lets look back at their careers and recent success.
Jason Arnott has spent a total of 17 seasons in the NHL, most recently with the Washington Capitals. In his career, Jason has tallied a total of 400 goals and 504 assists and a +68 rating overall. As I said before, his 2010-2011 campaign wasn’t so great. For most of the season, he spent his time with the New Jersey Devils, a place where he had played much of his career. In 62 games with the club, Arnott had 13 goals, 11 assists, and a -9 rating. You can’t say that’s necessarily amazing, but a bit productive at least. Later in the year, Jason was traded back to playoff contender, the Washington Capitals. With the Caps, he had only played 11 games and had racked up 4 goals, 3 assists, and a +3 rating. Did the new team boost his ego a little? Possibly, but now he moves to St. Louis. Will it be a breakout year or another showing of a dwindling career? Only time will tell.
Now we move to the other vet picked up on Wednesday, and that would be Mr. Jamie Langenbrunner. Much like Arnott, Jamie has played in 16 NHL seasons, but at age 35, you might think he has at least a couple more seasons in him. Again, like Arnott, Langenbrunner spent the majority of his career with the New Jersey Devils before he was eventually traded to the Dallas Stars last year, where he started his career. Last season was one that was a bit tough to watch for Jamie. In a total of 70 games between the Devils and Stars, he had only 9 goals, 23 assists, and a -18 rating. It seems as if GM Armstrong is looking past that and is hoping he can return to his career year in the ’08-’09 season. In that year, he posted 29 goals, 40 assists, and a +25 rating. I will give Jamie 1 thing. It had to have been a downer and pure disappointment to play for the Devils last season. I could only assume that the horrid play by the team as a whole wouldn’t make just one person strive for anything. Then again, maybe I’m just good at making excuses for people.
I’m not just being a fan by saying this, but this team has what it takes. If you take away the mass amount of injuries this team endured last year and add the veteran experience and leadership that has just been gained with these two, then I believe we have a true playoff contender. Bring on September!
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