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Caps get their center: acquire Jason Arnott from New Jersey for David Steckel and 2nd round pick

Carey Price, Josh Gorges, Jason Arnott

New Jersey Devils’ Jason Arnott celebrates a goal by teammate Matt Taormina past goalie Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price as Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges, left, watches during third period NHL hockey action Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, in Montreal. The Devils shutout the Canadiens 3-0. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)


Earlier in the day we talked about how Caps GM George McPhee was able to get part of his wish list filled acquiring Dennis Wideman for the blue line. Now he’s got the second line center he’s been in search of after acquiring Jason Arnott from New Jersey in exchange for David Steckel and a 2012 second round pick. (Source)

Arnott gives the Capitals a big body center who can play much more effectively on the second line than either Mathieu Perreault or Marcus Johansson and he gives the Caps a guy with postseason experience as well. Arnott’s ability to be physical and score goals will help them out. This year in New Jersey, Arnott has been hot and cold and mostly cold of late having not scored a goal in ten games and only has one point in that time. Arnott is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

Steckel is most known for being the guy that took Sidney Crosby’s head off at the 2011 Winter Classic. He’s a checking center with a prowess for winning face offs. He’s signed through the next two years at a cap hit of $1.1 million. He’ll help New Jersey be even more grinder-like up the middle as well as giving them an ace guy on faceoffs.

If Arnott can snap out of his goal funk and fit right in with the likes of Alex Semin and Brooks Laich on Washington’s second line, it’s a huge win for Washington. If he continues to slump, he’ll fit right in with the rest of the team whose been slumping offensively and cause fans and management to grow even more frustrated in Washington. It was a move McPhee had to make to try and help improve the team, but it’s tough to be sold on whether or not this is the “the” move to help them get better.