Jason Arnott Traded to Devils
This will be Arnott's second stint with the Devils, having spent parts of five season in New Jersey between 1997 and 2002, winning a Stanley Cup in 2000 (and scoring the cup-clinching goal in overtime).
The 35-year-old spent the past four seasons in Nashville, scoring 107 of his 383 career goals with the Predators. His exit now means there's an opening for the team's captaincy, and the discussion about who will succeed him has already started in Nashville (and there's no shortage of good options, including defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter).
In return for Arnott, the Predators receive the 22-year-old Halischuk, who was rated by Hockey's Future as the No. 9 prospect in the Devils farm system. A fourth-round pick in 2007, he played 20 games with New Jersey this past season, scoring a goal and adding an assist. Over the past two seasons he played 79 games in the American Hockey League, tallying 25 goals to go with 26 assists.
Injuries have limited Arnott to 275 of a possible 328 games the past four years, while the 2009-10 campaign was his least-productive season (in terms of goals and points-per-game) since 2003. Still, his 19 goals were good enough for third on the team, as were his 46 points.
Nashville finished this past season with 217 goals scored, 17th in the NHL, and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks in six games. Dealing Arnott obviously puts a dent in the Predators goal-scoring, but it does clear some cap space. The only problem, of course, is that this year's free agent market is paper thin when it comes to impact players on offense. After Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrick Marleau, there's a pretty steep drop in available talent. There's also the possibility of swinging yet another deal.
Arnott has one year remaining on his contract, which carries a cap hit of $4.5 million according to CapGeek, while his new club still has two rather large unrestricted free agents in Kovalchuk and defenseman Paul Martin. Martin recently made it known that even though the club has already named its new head coach (former Devil John Maclean) he still may see what is available to him on July 1.