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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 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, 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 said, it appears “the Colin Wilson era has begun.