Free-agent forward, Jason Arnott thought he was ready to make his return to the NHL a few weeks ago, but a failed phsyical left the power forward without a contract and a new home. Fast forward to this week and Arnott is once again looking like he’ll lace up his skates for a NHL team and again it is the St. Louis Blues who have come calling.
Arnott is skating with the Blues today according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Twitter. Andy Strickland from TrueHockey.com reported yesterday that Arnott is set to sign with the Blues later this week that will help shore up a depleted forward squad for the Blues.
Currently the Blues are without forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, Andy McDonald and Alex Steen who are all out for an extended period of time. Losers of four of their last six contests, the Blues are in need of some veteran presence up the middle and Arnott will fill that void.
When the Blues were first interested in Arnott last month, it was the knee of the 18-year veteran that would not allow him to pass his physical, making the Blues leery of a deal at that time. It was the same knee that forced the Blues to shut Arnott down during the playoffs last season.
Since then, Arnott has been strengthening the knee and has reportedly improved the strength to the point that it will pass the physical and allow him to sign with the Blues.
Before a deal is agreed upon the Blues want to watch Arnott practice and as Strickland reports, Blues GM, Doug Armstrong will simply wait and see and take it as it comes. Armstrong also points out that the veteran is skating with the club but under a “no strings attached” mentality as Strickland reports.
The Blues have a busy week playing four games in six nights including back-to-back nights on Saturday and Sunday. Arnott will have to prove himself early if he hopes to hook on with the Blues given they wont’ have a lot of practice time this week.