NHL Free Agency: New York Rangers Sign UFA Center Jason Arnott, Fails Physical
UPDATE: 7:45 P.M.
Katie Strang of ESPN New York reports that the Rangers will not be signing Arnott after he failed his team physical.
#NYR Tentative one-year deal between Rangers and Jason Arnott is OFF, source tells ESPN NY. Was not cleared by NYR team doctors— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) January 28, 2013
END OF UPDATE
The UFA center had connections to the team as a former first-round, seventh-overall pick in 1993 by then-Edmonton Oilers and current Rangers GM Glen Sather.
Arnott and NYR agree to contract. 1 year. Cap hit around $1.6 -$1.7.Contract being finalized now. Arnott en route to NYC.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 26, 2013
Last season Arnott played with the St. Louis Blues, scoring 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points in 72 games.
Arnott was also a member of the Blues' power-play unit where he registered six of his goals. The former St. Louis Blues center stands 6'5" and weighs 220 pounds, so he will add some size to the Rangers' bottom six and sorely needed forward depth.
Although the New York Rangers' top priority is adding defensive depth, adding Arnott was a nice pickup. His deal is low risk at a pro-rated $1.6 million for one year, and he should add some competition to the bottom six.
Arnott is also an average faceoff man as he won 50.3 percent of his draws in 2011-12. Once Arnott passes his team physical, he should be able to joint the team in time for Tuesday's matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers.
With Arnott now on board and recent call-up Benn Ferriero on the roster, the Rangers will no longer need to rely on having Stu Bickel fill in as a forward, and they have some nice depth in case of injuries.
Arnott's desire to win and experience should only benefit the Rangers, so this one-year deal is a win-win for both parties.
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