All week leading up to Sunday, July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.
Jason Arnott (C)
2011-12 cap hit: $2.875 million
At his age – he’ll turn 38 by the time next season begins – Jason Arnott likely won’t have a ton of offers to sift through. In fact, he might just want to root for the St. Louis Blues to follow GM Doug Armstrong’s stated plan of making limited moves.
Even so, he could get squeezed out amid the team’s continuing youth movement. The playing time he received in 2011-12 was surely augmented by the rash of injuries that struck the Blues. He responded respectably but not spectacularly, scoring 17 goals and 34 points in 72 games before only generating a goal in seven postseason contests.
Age and limited productivity will hold him back, yet you can’t totally discount his size and shot. Also, the Washington Capitals raved about Arnott’s leadership qualities in 2010-11.
Not much has been made about his league-wide appeal, but if he doesn’t get a job based on familiarity (the New Jersey Devils already brought him back once to limited results), he’ll likely make the most sense as a cheap veteran on a contender. Arnott has a solid chance of landing with someone if he’s willing to accept another one-year deal – probably for quite a bit less cash.
More UFA spotlights