What Jason Arnott brings to the lineup

January 27, 2013, by
No, he's no longer available. He's a Ranger. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

No, he’s no longer available. He’s a Ranger. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In case you missed it yesterday, the Rangers signed Jason Arnott last night to a one year, $1.6 million contract. It was something that I talked about just that morning, so it’s rather funny that the Rangers inked him that day. Arnott, 38, spent last season with the St. Louis Blues, putting together a line of 17-17-34 and a +13 rating.

Arnott likely won’t be expected to play a scoring role with the Rangers, especially with Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Rick Nash in tow. Instead, Arnott will be relied upon to provide depth and stability to the bottom six forwards, something that has troubled the Rangers this season. For starters, Arnott will bring his 50.3% faceoff win percentage to a team winning face offs at a 46.6% clip.

Arnott will also bring that depth and stability mentioned above. For a while now, we’ve been discussing how the Rangers will not survive if their fourth line consists of Mike Rupp, Jeff Halpern, and Arron Asham. We talked about the need for a depth forward and about available free agents. Arnott’s presence will likely push one of them out of the lineup –barring injuries– and serve as a matchup forward.

Since Arnott will not be relied upon offensively, he will clearly be on the roster for his defensive abilities. That said, Arnott has not been relied upon defensively for at least two seasons. His peripherals last year (read more here) weren’t all that impressive, with a 6.4 GVT, 2.1 PVT, -.067 QOC, 3.9 RCorsi, and 60.3% OZone Start. His numbers were similar for the 2010-2011 season. What these numbers mean is that although Arnott does provide a positive presence and will lead to more points in the standings (GVT/PVT), he wasn’t the guy that St. Louis relied upon to do the heavy lifting defensively, as he faced a negative QoC and started just 40% of his shifts in the defensive zone.

While those are the two most recent seasons, it doesn’t exactly paint a picture of Arnott’s entire career. In the 2009-2010 season, Arnott had a much better QoC (-.009), a RCorsi that is consistent with his previous two years (4.4), but he started significantly more shifts in the defensive zone (50%). Those numbers are pretty consistent throughout his career in Nashville.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Arnott is deployed by Torts. While he is a solid two-way player, his skating –especially at 38-year-old– isn’t top-notch and he has never been relied upon to play a role like Brian Boyle does for this team. With the team in desperate need of depth, Arnott will at least provide some stability, once he gets his feet back under him.

Categories : Analysis, Forwards


  1. rocketroy says:

    THANK YOU GLEN……For Listening to the Fans…I’m not sure you or someone on your staff reads the fans blogs, but I think this is definately a step in the right direction….NOW…Lets take a look at Petr Sykora..He can improve our 3rd & 4th line playmaking.

  2. rickyrants13 says:

    With this team in need of scoring HE better have been brought in here to help. This team CAN NOT rely on just the first line scoring. And the second line has shown no signs of life at all.

  3. Ray says:

    So how do the Rangers get their roster down to 23? Does Ferriero go back down even though he played a lot of minutes? Is it Kreider to IR or Connecticut? Maybe Halpern or Gilroy? Only Kreider is exempt from waivers. Personally, at this point, I think waiving Ferreiro is a real and unwise risk – then again he cleared for San Jose last week.

  4. Dennis says:

    The presence of Arnott and Ferreiro solidifies the bottom Six forwards for the Rangers, who needed help on Face-Offs and Energy. I can see Sather making a trade for the purpose of subtraction (Rupp or Asham), waiving Matt Gilroy would be a great idea because he’s useless, and maybe they look for a depth defenseman who can actually play better than Bickel or Gilroy, via a trade.

  5. Mikeyyy says:

    I like it. Gotta start rebuilding somewhere.

  6. barry selesnow says:

    Eveyone picks on Bickel but he is the only defenseman who isnt afraid to drop the gloves and can handle himelf.He isnt the fastest person on the team but neither is Emminger.

  7. Glen Sather says:

    I’m never listening to Rocketroy, Rickyrants or Mikey with four y’s ever again! Damn physicals…

  8. rocketroy says:

    HEH GLEN…..So sorry you feel that way…But the good thing…I think at last count, there was at LEAST 85 FREE AGENTS looking for work…My only advice, is please choose carefully…AND..the Ducks still have (3) they are dieing to talk about before trade deadline.