Of all the soon-to-be unrestricted free agents that will become available this summer, Jason Arnott’s is one that some teams will be keeping a close eye on. At 6’3, 220 pounds, his size will definitely complement an already bulked up Kings team. However, as he will turn 37 this coming October, does Arnott still have much left in the tank?
In all likelihood, Arnott will only be asking for a one-year deal as that’s what he did last summer when he signed with the New Jersey Devils for his second tour-of-duty with the club. At the trade deadline this past February, Arnott was traded to the Washington Capitals in hopes of having that veteran leadership put a star-studded but underachieving squad over the top. It didn’t work as, although the Caps were able to get past the first round, they fell flat in the second as they got swept in four straight by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In his nine playoff games with Washington, Arnott helped out with a goal and five assists but, as I mentioned, it wasn’t enough to get the Caps where they needed to go. Overall in 2010-11, Arnott scored 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points, which set a career-low for the native of Collingwood, Ontario.
So, this summer, Jason Arnott becomes an unrestricted free agent once again. He won’t likely be asking for a ton of money nor would he be asking for a lengthy contract. He has size, he’s a center, which the Kings need, plus he has a Stanley Cup ring, which he won with the Devils in 2000.
But is Arnott a good fit for the Kings? Yes, Los Angeles needs a center but they need a second-line center to be more specific. Jason Arnott may have fit that need five or six years ago but not today. In the risk of seeing him have a 2011-12 campaign that has his critics left with their jaws to the floor, I’m not inclined to sit here and say that Jason Arnott is past his prime. After all, he still does have some gas left in the tank. I just don’t think it’s enough for the Kings.
As much as I respect Jason Arnott as a player and what’s he accomplished as a player, I think the Los Angeles Kings, assuming they’re even interested, need to pass on Arnott. He may be a good fit somewhere but Los Angeles is not one of those places as far as I’m concerned.