Capitals Player Report Card: Jason Arnott

Jason Arnott

Stats: 73 GP 17 Goals, 14 Assists, 31 Points, -6, 40 PIM
Contract Info: $4.5 cap hit, pending UFA
Player Card

Scoring Chance% Ranking: 1/29
Forwards: 1/29
Balanced Corsi Ranking: 10/29
Forwards: 6/19

I felt the Capitals acquisition of Jason Arnott at the trade deadline was a very predictable move. The team needed a second-line center and the market was pretty thin at the time, but Arnott was on a Devils team currently experiencing a bit of a youth movement and he was an impending free agent. You usually have to expect the unexpected with George McPhee on deadline day but many people saw this one coming from a mile away. That said, it was a very good decision to bring in Arnott. He produced immediately, actually took the initiative to call-out some younger players on the team and help mentor them and we only gave up an overplayed fourth liner and a 2nd round pick to get him. Just one move that capped off a very solid deadline for Washington, especially considering that Arnott exceeding my (and many others) expectations once he got to Washington.

Arnott only had 13 goals and 24 points when he got to Washington, so I wasn’t expecting that much other than him being an improvement over Perreault and Johansson and he was all that and more. Added on 4 goals and 7 points in 11 games during his stay in Washington. The powerplay was 8 for 32 ever since he arrived (an improvement over how it was before that) and the team seemed to work better with the man advantage with him there. They cycled the puck better, got it to the net more and his shot from the point along with his playmaking skills made him very effective. He also seemed to score the biggest goals at the right time. He made a key play on Brooks Laich’s tying goal against the Islanders, scored the game-winning goal against the Blues and game-tying goal against the Sabres and of course, he made a key play on Alexander Semin’s goal in Game 1. He had an immediate impact on the team both on and off the ice and really helped solidify our top six after having the 2nd line center position be a revolving door for so long.

The biggest worry I had about acquiring Arnott was that he is 36 and has a tendency to get hurt over the course of the year. Unfortunately for Washington, he was placed on IR after having shoulder surgery less than two weeks after they acquired him. His performance in the playoffs was also really underwhelming. He only had one goal in the playoffs and didn’t seem like much of a factor in the Tampa Bay series at all. Whether or not that was due to a lingering injury is up in the air for me. I do know that I expected him to continue his great play from the regular season which didn’t happen at all. He also had a pretty brutal face-off percentage (44.4%).

Was Arnott good enough in Washington to re-sign him? I would like to have him back. His scoring chance percentage is obviously skewed from playing so few games in Washington but he made the most of his playing time here and proved to be more than just a rental player by being a leader in the locker room for this team. He also posted a good corsi rating in both New Jersey and Washington showing he is still an effective player despite his age. For that, I give him a B+ for the year. That said, I do not want Washington to give a multi-year deal to a player who is going to turn 37 next season, especially if it’s an overpayment. Re-signing him might actually be cheaper than going after someone via free agency or trying to make a trade. If the decision comes down to being between him, Laich or Hannan then that’s another story.

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One Response to Capitals Player Report Card: Jason Arnott

  1. Ralph says:

    Seemingly overnight the team’s Corsi percentage jumped from under 51% to over 53%. I credit that to Arnott stressing “attention to detail” (and Wideman).

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