The St. Louis Blues have decided not to sign veteran UFA Jason Arnott for the remainder of the season, the Post-Dispatch reports.
The 37-year-old center had been skating with the Blues this week after a rash of injuries sidelined forwards Vladimir Tarasenko (concussion), Alex Steen (shoulder) and Andy McDonald (knee).
Blues GM Doug Armstrong said it’s possible Steen and McDonald will rejoin the club this week, as the club begins a three-game homestand on Tuesday against the Sharks.
Arnott spent the 2011-12 season with St. Louis and performed well during the regular season — racking up 17G-17A-34PTS — but his time with the Blues didn’t end well.
He was a healthy scratch in the final two games of the Kings series and, as the Dispatch’s Dan O’Neill notes, “made no bones about” voicing his displeasure with the decision.
That said, Arnott did speak with head coach Ken Hitchcock about returning in a limited role this year, and clearly has a desire to keep playing. He signed a one-year deal with the Rangers in late January, only to see the Rangers nix the deal after Arnott was unable to receive medical clearance.
Arnott turns 38 in October and, given two clubs have now passed on his services, it seems unlikely he’ll be playing in the NHL this season.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.