I highly doubt the Nashville Predators trading away Jason Arnott was a
big surprise to some, although him being dealt back to New Jersey
certainly caught most of us off guard.
Lost in all of the furor
over the trade yesterday was the fact that Arnott did have a no-trade
clause in his contract and needed to agree to be traded before Nashville
could deal him. It turns out it wasn’t that tough of a decision, as
Arnott says that he and the team came to a mutual decision that the
Predators needed to get younger and he wasn’t a part of those future
“They kind of
explained what the situation was and it just didn’t seem
like I was in their (plans) for long term,” Arnott said. “So I decided
I’d rather move my family now and we both kind of came to the agreement
that it was time for the young guys to step in and do their thing, and
for me to move on. So it was kind of a mutual thing.”
David Poile says that while this was certainly a bold move it wasn’t
necessarily a temporary step back as the team looks to “rebuild”. The
team also has not had discussions about which player will replace Arnott
as team captain, although many expect for Shea Weber to have the “C” on
his chest next season.
For Arnott, hopefully this is a chance for
him to enjoy one last good season as he returns to New Jersey. His
leadership was constantly called into question over the past year in
Nashville, as it seemed that he wore the “C” for no other reason than he
was basically the only option, aside from perhaps Dan Hamhuis. With
Barry Trotz calling out Arnott at times at the end of the season, it
certainly seemed his time on the team was limited.
This is a great
move all around for both Arnott and the Predators, as the team looks to
move in a new direction this summer. With the trades sending Hamhuis
and Arnott to other teams, the Predators are in position to make major
changes this offseason.
Then again, in this interview, Poile says he doesn’t anticipate many more changes for the Predators. So perhaps this is just the Predators making moves to alter the direction of the team by moving on without Arnott and Hamhuis.