What seems like eons ago (but was actually only one spring ago) the Caps picked up winger Marco Sturm off of waivers and traded for defenseman Dennis Wideman. Also that season, the Caps acquired center Jason Arnott at the trade deadline via a trade with the New Jersey Devils. Sturm is now in Florida after a brief stay in Vancouver, Wideman now plays for the Flames, and Arnott is an unrestricted free agent who was on the Blues last season.
Of all the players that the Capitals “leased” at the end of 2011, Arnott is the one that if he had stuck around, could have had a chance to make an impact for the Caps in 2012-13. Arnott is still a solid center who can play on any line interchangeably. The center exhibits veteran leadership and is a strong presence in the locker room, intangibles that are going to be needed with the departure of Mike Knuble.
With no "grizzled" veterans on the team (Roman Hamrlik? Well he is grizzled) and a team chock full of players who haven't made it far in the Playoffs, a guy likeArnott could provide a veteran presence that could benefit the younger players.
Unlike most players on the current Capitals roster, Arnott has won a Stanley Cup. That day came back in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils. His career accolades include a go with the Rookie All Star team back in 1994 and two All-Star games in 1997 and 2008.
The former Caps center is a solid, skilled player who made an impact on the team during his brief time in 2011. The Caps acquired center Mike Ribeiro in the offseason but a player like Arnott would expand the depth at the position. Plus he could provide some guidance to young players like Mattias Sjogren and Mathieu Perreault.
Arnott is currently a free agent and is being looked at by the Vancouver Canucks. He would be a cheap sign with some solid benefits.
Now after the signing of Mike Ribeiro the team may not need to add another center. But as Caps new head coach Adam Oates said, the number one priority is winning the Cup, and a "guy like Arnott" anywhere on the roster would bring the Capitals some experience that could help get to that goal.
Written By Camilla A., Updated From Her Blog Capital Connection