“I’m at the end of my career, I want a chance at another Stanley Cup.”
This is exactly what I expected to hear from 16 year veteran, center Jason Arnott, no matter where he was traded by the New Jersey Devils.
And his quote explains why it is a great move by Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee. As the 3:00 pm trade deadline approached, McPhee dug into the deep pockets of the Capitals assets and took a chance on an imposing player who may be more concerned with winning a championship than making friends in the locker room.
Players will now be accountable to someone who arrives at Verizon Center with one purpose – the only true purpose in the NHL.
27 year old defenseman Dennis Wideman was also added today, from the Florida Panthers. Its good for depth, but he gave the typical PR answers when asked about joining Washington, which made Arnott’s comments so much more valuable.
The cost was steep in forward David Steckel and a 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft. I don’t think its too much and maybe this can ease the pain of not making a trade for forward Bill Guerin in 2009, who then went on to help eliminate the Capitals from the playoffs and help the Pittsburgh Penguins raise the Cup.
McPhee should be applauded for making this move and the Wideman deal, while still keeping the core of talent in Washington and younger players still biding their time before skating in D.C.
I understand the importance of not giving away the farm, but it is moves like this that must be attempted in order to be known not only as a winning franchise, but a championship one.
Thank you Mr. McPhee and Let’s Go Caps!