After all the trade rumors and all the trade deadline speculation, Jason Arnott is leaving the New Jersey Devils. He waived his no-trade clause to head south to the playoff-bound Washington Capitals, who acquired him in exchange for David Steckel just prior to Monday's 3 p.m. deadline.
Arnott is the second-line center that the Capitals have coveted for some time now. He's scored 13 goals in 63 games for the Devils this season and while he's on the back end of his career, but he'll also certainly help the Capitals as they look to beef up their attack.
He's not the best faceoff man, but he is defensively responsible and he's certainly a leader in the locker room. He'll fit in well with the shift to a more defensive mindset that Bruce Boudreau and the Caps have committed to this season. Perhaps most importantly, despite his age, he's able to play against the best players on the opposing team each night.
Steckel's role with the Caps was
knocking Sidney Crosby out of the lineup, simply put, the face off game. He's the best face off man in the NHL and the Devils are getting a nice return for a guy in Arnott who likely wasn't going to return after this season anyway. He's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
It's hard to say who "won" this trade right now, and it could be one of those deals that equally benefits both clubs. Arnott can help the Capitals in the postseason this year while Steckel, with two years left on his contract, will certainly help out in New Jersey.