The Blues bolstered their line up this week, adding a handful of veteran forwards to the mix for next season.
Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott join the Blues ranks going into next season as both inked identical, one year, 2.5M contracts this past week. Each has the potential to his 300k in bonus’ provided they reach certain goals during the year.
Langenbrunner, 35, is a veteran of 1,035 games in the NHL, registering 237 goals and 401 assists in his career. He is coming off a rough year, where he spent time with the New Jersey Devils and the Dallas Stars. Playing in 70 games this past year, he recorded 9 goals, 23 assists. The lowest point totals he’s notched since 2003-04. in which he played only 53 games that season.
Langenbrunner captained the Devils starting in 2007 and was captain up until he was traded to the Stars this past year. Leadership is what Langenbrunner brings to the table. Not to mention the playoff experience and two Stanley Cup rings he owns.
On the other hand, Arnott, who is 36, will bring in another big body to play down the middle on the third line for St. Louis. With Backes, Berglund, and Arnott all playing center, the Blues have three big powerforwards who can drive hard and be effective in front of the opposing net.
Arnott brings with him one Cup ring and was a former captain of the Nashville Predators before being traded to New Jersey last off-season.
This big bodied forward will cause havoc in front of opposing nets while bringing a calm to the younger players in the ice. The Blues are hoping that Arnott can bring his calmness and clutch play to a very young Blues roster.
Arnott, if you can remember back far enough, scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal for the New Jersey Devils back in 2000.
Then you have fourth line, penalty killing pest in Scott Nichol. Nichol signed a one year deal with the Blues opening weekend and adds a depth that the Blues have missed since dealing away
Jay McClement. A good faceoff winning, penalty killing forward.
Nichol played last season with the San Jose Sharks but had his season cut short due to injury.
When healthy, Nichol can provide a high energy game as the smaller forward plays 150% all the time. However, his reckless abandoned type playing style can cause injury for the 36 year old forward.
The Blues also bolstered their back end by signing veteran defensemen, and former Shark, Kent Huskins. Huskins, 32, is a veteran of nearly 300 games and has notched 11 goals, 49 assists in his career. Huskins brings a big body to play a shut-down, hard hitting role on defense.
The Blues have a lot of skill on their back end with guys like Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Carlo Colaiacovo. So adding another shut down guy like Huskins will help compliment their offensive play with a shut down type role.
Huskins also brings a Cup ring with him to St. Louis as he was apart of the 2006 Stanley Cup winning Anahiem Ducks squad.
As a result of these signings, there have been some number changes to be aware of next season.
Jason Arnott will wear number 44, meanwhile Jamie Langebrunner will wear 15. Scott Nichol takes over number 12, previously warn by Shattenkirk, who will change his number to 22. Kent Huskins will be wearing number 6 for next season.
So if you bought a Shattenkirk jersey last year, I’m sorry but you might want to have it changed right about now.
The Blues, if they can get David Perron back and healthy by the mid-way part of the season could really be a scary team down the stretch and potentially in the playoffs as well.