Blues Ink Veterans Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott
Fresh off the news that the St. Louis Blues signed center Scott Nichol yesterday, the team made big news today by signing two veterans to one-year deals: Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott, as reported by Jeremy Rutherford. Each skater adds valuable veteran experience and leadership as well as needed additional offense. The two were briefly teammates last season on the New Jersey Devils before moving to new teams. Each player will receive $2.5 million, with the ability to earn up to $2.8 million through bonuses.
Jamie Langenbrunner (Above)
Skating in the NHL since the 1994-95 season, Langenbrunner has been a member of the Dallas Stars (two separate times) and the New Jersey Devils. For his career, he has appeared in 1,035 games while scoring 237 goals and 401 assists (638 points). He is a career +53 in the plus/minus department and has 805 penalty minutes to his name.
Langenbrunner has seemingly been through it all. He’s been a member of two Stanley Cup champion teams (1999 with Dallas and 2003 with New Jersey) and was the captain of Team USA in the 2010 Olympic Games.
The winger gives the Blues added depth and flexibility with their lineup, as well as a nice insurance policy if David Perron remains out longer than we all hope. Granted, he isn’t the same type of skater as Perron, but Langenbrunner has averaged just over 52 points a season dating back to the lockout.
Jason Arnott (Right)
The second signing of the day is Jason Arnott, most recently of the Washington Capitals. While Langenbrunner adds 1,035 games of experience, Arnott ups the ante with 1,172 games of NHL experience to his name. Also a Stanley Cup champion, Arnott hoisted the cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 when he scored the championship-winning tally in the second OT of Game 6.
Arnott has playing time with the Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils (two separate times), Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and the Washington Capitals.
Arnott, a center, comes over just one day after the Blues announced they signed center Scott Nichol.
Fans wanted to see some more recognizable signings than the previous ones of Kent Huskins and Scott Nichol and have evidently gotten their wish. Of course, Langenbrunner and Arnott aren’t exactly super-stars, but they are reliable forwards that produce offense as if it is second nature.
These signings give the Blues an additional 2,207 games of NHL experience on their roster. Veteran experience should no longer be a question raised as this new duo should bring amble leadership on and off the ice.
It probably won’t be until training camp where we can really start to get an idea of what the team’s lines might look like, as the Blues have plenty of options at the forward positions. Just at center, the Blues have the newly acquired Scott Nichol and Jason Arnott to go along with David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka and Andy McDonald. It seems like the Blues may have to mix some of their players into wing roles now that they have brought in two other options for face offs.
At the very least, these signings offer further and more reliable depth if the Blues succumb to the injury bug as they did last year. Unless things go horrifically wrong, the Blues shouldn’t have to continually throw out inexperienced members of the Peoria Rivermen as we saw countless times in 2010-11.
The moves also bring flexibility and some interchangeability to the lineup. The team has options – something they haven’t had in a while.