Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) makes a save on St. Louis Blues center Jason Arnott (44) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski) By Rick Osentoski
St. Louis Blues' Jason Arnott celebrates his goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price during second period NHL hockey action, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson) By Paul Chiasson
Edmonton Oilers' Teemu Hartikainen, of Finland, and St. Louis Blues' Jason Arnott, right, chase after a loose puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
(HockeyStL) -- Last summer, the Blues looked to add depth and experience to their organization. They were a team desperate for that veteran presence that could lead them through the long season and into the playoffs. The Blues searched the free agent market for a player that fit this description and brought in not one, but two players that knew what it would take to bring home "the Cup".
General Manager Doug Armstrong made quite a splash when he announced that the Blues had signed both Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott to one year contracts.
Langenbrunner and Arnott brought 2000+ games of experience to St. Louis along with three Stanley Cup rings between the two of them. But one of these players has shown that he can provide more than experience.
Jason Arnott, 37, has made it obvious that he can be a huge part of this team both on and off the ice. Arnott has played third line minutes this season but has produced enough to land a spot on the Blues power play and consistently makes the Blues a better team.
As of right now, Arnott finds himself tied for third on the team in scoring with 24 pts. (12 goals, and 12 assists) trailing only young star T.J. Oshie (32 pts.) and Captain David Backes (37 pts.). His offensive productivity has been a huge story this season though it will be overlooked as the biggest surprise due to goaltender Brian Elliott's All Star season.
Arnott has been around the league for a long time and knows how to keep his body in shape throughout the season, as well as the offseason which is a big part of his production. Arnott is a big, strong player and is very good at protecting the puck and winning puck battles but it’s his hard work that really stands out.
There have been games where Arnott has come to the rink with cuts and bruises on his face, which really illustrate the beating that he takes on the ice, but yet he shows no signs of slowing down.
An even bigger impact is being made off the ice by the veteran forward.
Arnott has accumulated a vast amount of hockey knowledge over 17 NHL seasons and even though you won’t find knowledge or experience as a statistical category, that doesn’t make them any less important. In fact I would argue that those attributes are even more important to an organization as ultimately it helps produce the future stars of the NHL.
While Arnott's career is closer to the end than the beginning, he will continue to make an impact on the Blues and the NHL for as long as he plays, whether it is with his productivity or with his character. Arnott chose St. Louis for a reason, you can say it was for the money but I’m convinced that he sees the talent that the Blues possess. I truly believe that Arnott thinks this could be his best chance to win another Stanley Cup before he hangs up his skates.