Jason Arnott looked like he was ready to join the New York Rangers after agreeing to a one-year, $1.6 million pro-rated deal on Saturday that would have seen Arnott make $1.2 million. However, Arnott, 38, saw his deal voided after taking a physical on Sunday. The Rangers cited medical concerns as the reason for voiding the deal.
Arnott has played 18 years in the NHL and scored 17 goals and tallied 34 points with the St. Louis Blues last season. He did undergo knee surgery this past summer, however, so the knee might not be sound enough for the Rangers to invest in the center who scored the Stanley Cup winning goal for the New Jersey Devils in 2000.
The team, however, did not specify what the exact reason was behind voiding the deal. Arnott has played for several teams throughout his NHL career including the Edmonton Oilers, Devils, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals, and Blues. His future is up in the air right now and he could very well call it a career.
The Rangers, meanwhile, are going to continue to search for depth players as they try and round out their roster after getting off to a slow start this season. The Rangers have seen almost all of their offense come from their top line of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Rick Nash with Taylor Pyatt, a player signed to be a role player, finding himself as the team’s second-leading goal scorer. Obviously, that isn’t what the Rangers wanted, not with Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, and Chris Kreider expected to contribute. However, Callahan and Stepan have been slow to get started and Kreider has been ineffective and has lately been battling bone chips in his ankle.
The Rangers need offense from more than just their top line and can’t depend on Pyatt to continue scoring at his current pace because that isn’t realistic. Arnott would have added some depth, grit, and experience on the back lines for the Rangers and could have been option on the power play where he scored 6 of his 17 goals last season and has buried 145 goals while on the advantage. Now, without Arnott, the Rangers will hope an internal solution is the answer to the problem but will continue to monitor outside help.