Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why Not Arnott?

The saying goes that sometimes the biggest moves are the ones you don't make. What usually goes unsaid is that it cuts both ways.

Today the Devils reacquired Jason Arnott in a deal with Nashville for a second round pick next year and right wing Matt Halischuk, a low-level prospect. Glen Sather either did not get in on the negotiations for Arnott's services or he decided that the Predator captain wasn't worth it. Either way, the Rangers are less off for not swinging the deal.

Let's look at why:

*Adding Arnott would have given the Rangers a first line center. Having a depth chart of Arnott-Dubinsky-Anisimov-Drury would have made the middle a position of strength. (Yes, Drury would be manning the fourth line; as he showed at the Olympics, that is where he excels.)

*While his leadership was questioned in Nashville, he still brings 1,205 NHL games, 939 points and a Stanley Cup ring to the table (numbers include playoffs).

*At 6'5, 220 Arnott would have provided size the Rangers need, and at a far higher skill level than Brian Boyle. Boyle should go to Hartford, directly to Hartford, without passing go and without collecting a NHL salary.

*His experience as a big man and his particular skill set would have provided a perfect role model for Brandon Dubinsky, who did not particularly progress in his development last season.

*While waiver wire addition Erik Christensen showed some chemistry with Marian Gaborik, he certainly did not draw the defenders to him. Everyone watching knew Christy was going to look for Arnott 49 times out of 50 before taking things himself - after the defense has secured the zone. Arnott forces teams to take notice of him and is willing to go hard to the slot - something that would open more ice up for our Slovak sniper.

*With one year left on his contract, Arnott would have bought the Rangers a season for Derek Stepan to learn the pro game in either the AHL or the WHL.

*Despite a string of injuries the last few years, Arnott still has averaged better than 0.7 points per game. Drury, by the way, averaged 0.42 last season. And if those injuries were a concern, well, look at Gaborik last season.

*On the Devils, Arnott will make himself quite familiar with the front of the crease in front of Henrik. Not good. Not good at all.

As the move was not made, the Rangers are still without a top pivot. If they want to re-sign Christensen, that works but they can't give the lip service that they are going to make the playoffs and make a run for the Cup. And that is fine - this team is long (long, long, long) overdue for a rebuild. Let Prospal walk, re-sign Brodie Dupont and give him a shot at the roster, bring up Bobby and Dane and Dale (Weise), trade Rozy for picks (or a bag of pucks) and banish Redden from Broadway.

But let's face it, that is about as likely as Dolan selling the team and Sather offering an official apology for his reign of ridiculousness. It is still far, far too early to condemn him for the coming season but letting Arnott go to Jersey may be the biggest move he made.


Anonymous said...

a 36-year old center whose point totals have declined the past three seasons...youre a fool

Garfinkus said...

Why would suggesting that picking up a player, for just about nothing, is foolish? He'd be a great mentor for Dubinsky and others. He made some great points that should have been considered.

Anyways, he's been traded to the Devils, so the Rangers aren't going to trade for him now anyways.

And Scotty, I'm hoping they did get in on the trade talks, but Nashville wanted someone the Rangers didn't want to give up.

mike said...

So the Rangers are idiots for not acquiring this particular 36-year old player with a large salary? Just because Arnott is a good player who will likely help the Devils quite a bit doesn't mean that he'd do the same for the Rangers. The Rangers need to commit to some kind of organizational philosophy, and going after Arnott would've been more of the same shit that has failed this team repeatedly since 1994.

Realistically, he's as much of an injury risk as Gabby and he was never known for being a great skater. In our coach's eyes he doesn't fit the system, and as for chemistry with Gabby that is merely idle speculation at this point.

The last thing this franchise needs is one more expensive old guy coming in and underperforming. Chances are 50-50 for the Devils that the Arnott trade is a success--but they can afford a failure with him, whereas the Rangers (and by extension Sather) cannot.

Anonymous said...

No way the Rangers should have given up a young asset to acquire a 36 year old center who is a UFA after this season. This is the kind of mentality that got us in trouble in the first place.

Dave W said...

Whether or not he was worth it aside, it's pretty clear from quotes from Arnott that the Devils were the only team he truly considered. Can't really fault Sather in this situation.

Scotty Hockey said...

And Brooksie wrote today that Sather did go after him but balked at the cost so at least he was in the conversation. I'm not sure I would deal McDonagh either but then again, the last defenseman we started out of college disappointed ... hopefully Hobey is busting his ass so he avoids being an outright bust. I have zero faith in the Ranger ability to develop star players, since - outside of Hank, who developed in Sweden and not the Ranger system - it hasn't happened since the early 90s.

Arnott is in the walk season of a deal so if he wants to continue in hockey, you had better believe he will skate.

And the Rangers have one organizational philosophy, one: make money.

Rick said...

So what exactly would Arnott give the playoffless NYR's for this year? Would it be worth McD for a shot at ???? I am glad that Slats has finally grown some and is willing to stay put regardless of the Broadway lights.

Derek B Felix said...

I like Arnott but eh he's all wrong for our club. For once, let's go with kids instead of aging vets. Anyone who believes this team can compete also believes in the tooth fairy. Time to stick to the guns.

Dennis said...

A big genuine first line center is the same type of rhetoric we heard about Jokinen and that worked out well. Continue with the rebuild. Continue with youth and forget about the old timers.

Anonymous said...

Arnott is a bum. The Rangers are so lucky no deal happened.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what the Rangers need, a 36 year old with a $4.5 contract.

Scotty Hockey said...

Yeah, because another season with the much cheaper Brian Boyle would be so much better. Think big picture guys. This franchise continues to promise runs for the playoffs and the the Cup and yet doesn't have a team capable of doing it. They need to either build a team that can or legitimately rebuild the team. This middle of the road nonsense is what has led to disappointment after disappointment the last few years.