Devils acquire Arnott from Predators
Canadian world junior hero Halischuk, 2nd-round draft pick off to Nashville
The Nashville Predators need a new captain.
General manager David Poile on Saturday dealt Jason Arnott to New Jersey, where the veteran centre played from 1998 to 2002. Forward Matt Halischuk is heading to Nashville along with the Devils' second-round pick in next year's entry draft.
"I am excited," Arnott said in a conference call. "I have always wanted to come back to Jersey at some point in my career and now it has happened, so I am really looking forward to it."
Earlier Saturday, the Predators sent Dan Hamhuis and a 2011 conditional draft pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for fellow defenceman Ryan Parent.
Arnott, 35, leaves Nashville following the most unproductive of his four seasons with the Predators. He notched 46 points in 63 regular-season games but his goal total dropped to 19 from 33 the previous campaign.
The Wasaga Beach, Ont., native added a pair of goals in this year's playoffs and was minus 3 in six games.
An injury-prone Arnott arrived in Nashville as a free agent in July 2006 and scored 27 goals in 68 contests. His best season with the Predators came the following season when the six-foot-five, 220-pounder posted 28 goals and 72 points in 79 games.
Arnott won the Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2000, when he scored the championship-clinching goal in overtime.
Arnott spent five seasons with the Devils and was the centre of the "A Line," which also featured current Devil Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora.
He has fond memories of his stay, perhaps none fonder than when Arnott scored in double overtime against Dallas in Game 6 to win the Cup.
"It was the single greatest moment in my hockey life, and something that I watch the video [of] every single year in the summer time, maybe two or three times," Arnott said. "You know, it always brings a tear to my eye every single time that I watch it. I have always wanted to come back and do it again, especially with New Jersey."
The Devils have not made it past the second round of the playoffs since winning their third Cup in 2003, and they have been eliminated in the first round the past three years.
Arnott believes his experience and size will help the team.
"I just want to help them win again, that is my main goal," said Arnott, who will play for new coach John MacLean this season.
He has 383 goals and 873 points in 1,099 NHL regular-season games with Edmonton, New Jersey, Dallas and Nashville.
Halischuk, 22, split this season between the Devils and their American League Hockey affiliate in Albany, N.Y. The Toronto native had two points in 20 NHL outings and 11 goals and 22 points in 32 games with the AHL River Rats.
Halischuk is well known to Canadian hockey fans for his overtime goal in the gold-medal game at the 2008 world junior championship against Sweden.
The draft pick will give Nashville multiple second-rounders for the second time in three drafts.