Nashville captain Arnott traded to New Jersey…

Just two hours after announcing impending free agent Dan Hamhuis has been traded to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Nashville Predators have come right back and announced that they’ve traded their captain.

Jason Arnott has been traded to the New Jersey Devils for prospect Matt Halischuk and a 2011 second round pick.

This has been a whirl-wind day for Predators fans as they’ve seen two seasoned veterans shipped out in the past couple hours. While Hamhuis’ move was expected, the Arnott move comes out of left field. Arnott would’ve had to have waived his no trade clause in order to make this transaction official. But, apparently he has and most Preds fans will be happy to see him move on to greener pastures.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Arnott wasn’t a special player. He was. And, when it mattered, he always seemed to play with an edge. But when it didn’t matter, that was the gripe within the fan base. For someone as gifted and skilled as Arnott was, inconsistency and taking shifts off was just unacceptable, especially while wearing the captaincy.

But Nashville fans will no longer have that argument in their back pocket as the 6’3″, 220 lb center is re-acquired by the team he won his only Stanley Cup with, the Devils.

Dirk Hoag of ontheforecheck.com and I were literally discussing the fact that Nashville has too many high-salaried, veteran centers with NTC’s when this trade was announced. Several young centermen have been patiently waiting their turn in the system. Colin Wilson, Cal O’Reilly, Nick Spaling, and even to a lesser extent Mike Santorelli have all been biding their time with both the big club and with the minor league affiliate Milwaukee Admirals in hopes of someday playing full time in Music City. But now, with David Legwand as the sole surviving member of the veteran-centers-with-NTCs club, opportunity looks to be fierce in training camp this year.

Also, while there was some speculation as to who would wear the “C” next season, this guarantees it’ll be someone new. Our money is on Shea Weber but there are plenty of good arguments for other guys as well.

According to capgeek.com, the Predators, in the last few hours, have shed $6.5 million in cap space by removing Arnott and Hamhuis from their roster. Could another signing be in their future? It’s no secret that 30-goal scorer Patric Hornqvist deserves a raise and that some of this money will be spent on him but it’s also no secret that Nashville needs a scoring winger. Free Agency is only 12 days away. Could David Poile and the Preds be setting the table for a high-end free agent?

Either way, this is clearly a turning point in the direction of the franchise. Two seasoned veterans have been jettison and it appears as if it’s the young guys’ turn to carry the torch. Nashville has drafted well over the past few years and have a lot of players ready to make their mark. Is this their time?

Whether we’re ready or not, as Ryan Porth of RLDHockey.net said, it appears “the Colin Wilson era has begun.

7 Comments

  1. Jason Myers

    June 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I liked Arnott, but this last year it did seem as if he wasn’t fully committed. I hope he does well with the Devils. I’m ready to see them get us another forward who will be chomping at the bit to prove themselves. I’m a bit worried about the 3rd defensive pairing. Also who do we have developing as the replacement for Dan Ellis, as he has publicly stated he is looking for a new home?

  2. R.J. O'Connell

    June 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    That’s a shame really. And this looks like more of a salary dump than anything, seeing as Matt Halischuk might be too small to play a lot in Nashville unless he really impresses during training camp and in the early season. But if it gives us the money to go after a good backup goalie and a young, future first-line center like Stephen Weiss, it’ll be for the best.

  3. Capt4Chris

    June 20, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Wow, this is crazy

    • Codey Holland

      June 20, 2010 at 6:48 am

      I agree Chris, this is quite the crazy twist.

  4. Torrey Shelby (SIN BIN PRED)

    June 21, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I hate to see Arnott go. But we need some changes. I really thought it would be JP instead. Ellis and Hammer were a given. Some things to think about: What if Pekka gets injured? Will Suter and Weber be split up on the regular line pairings now? Who will our new Center be? I would love to see Weiss come over. Also we have to sign Hornqvist and Franson. In my opinion Franson (even with his inexperience) is arguably our 3rd best D-man. Cube is decent, but Klein needs some work. Sulzer looked good this past season for his first year. Parent may be that Defensive minded (Skrastins/Zanon type) player that we were lacking last season. If he can bulk up and stay healthy he may come in handy with what we have at G. I feel like we have alot of depth at D and that it is time to start using some of the talent that we have. We need Goal Scorers. And I believe that showed this past season. Again I wouldnt be suprised if we do not see JP leaving also, giving us a ton of money to use. (Which we need)…then we can sign Horny and Franson, possibly Grebs. and use the remainder of the money to get some talent!! What about Tanguay? Weiss? I would love to hear who is available. Its obvious that we cant do a Spezza or Marleau. (Would be nice…but cant happen) I hope that Poile is thinking one way — — — — — GET SOME NEW GOAL SCORING FORWARDS AND SIGN FRANSON AND HORNY!!!! I do not like Leggy as a second line Center. Sure he is decent on FW, but he is inconsistent in the regular season as far as scoring goes. Our Wingers arent that bad though…Sullivan/Hornqvist/Erat/Ward……I could see alot of changes here. . . . .I wonder what Poile has in mind. GO PREDS!! I love ya know matter what you do!!

  5. Johnny B

    June 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I agree that this past season Arnott wasn’t fully committed – but I really wasn’t surprised of hearing that Arnott was traded – Pred’s jerseys with his name and number went on sale on the Pred’s online store about 2 weeks ago …. I just hope and pray that the GM takes this opportunity to get some PP improvement.

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