The Morning After...
posted Mar 10, 2006 at 09:44AM
I guess the real debate is whether Arnason has what it takes to be a number 2 center. The big answers won't really come until Havlat gets back and we see if the two can gel. On the whole though I think one can look at this trade as a plus for the Senators. I mean Arnason does have Smolinski type numbers, and he got them despite more difficult circumstances. So even if he doesn't become our number two center, his addition will still make it that much harder for Murray not to have three good lines together.
We never "see" them but the Senators scouting program is up there with the best, and they obviously like this guy and see reserves of untapped potential.
There is some uncertainty and concern of whether Arnason is a problem child head-case. From the stories, he strikes me as someone who is filled with piss and vinegar and who can't take bullshit. That is fine, and that is good. Every good hockey player has a bit of that in their character. Let's just hope his definition of bullshit is not too subjective, nor too narrow, as it was for his drinking buddy Theo Fleury, one of the best players to just melt-down.
From Bruce Garrioch (Ottawa Sun) we get the following,
"Sources say the Blackhawks were insisting on getting centre Antoine Vermette in return for Arnason and Muckler made it clear that wasn't going to happen"
Again no surprise that they were going after Vermette. Kudos to Muckler for not blinking. Losing Vermette would have greatly minimized any value add to this trade. The thing that gets me is that all of these teams who want Vermette know he is a centre, and want him as a centre. Maybe our scouting staff should look at a few of our games and spread that intel to our own coaching staff. Vermette should be the centre of the fourth line.
Speaking of potential lines we get the following from Chris Stevenson (Ottawa Sun)
"Arnason will likely slot into the Senators' second centre spot. When Martin Havlat comes off the injured list, Arnason will likely be between him and Bryan Smolinski, shifted to left wing from centre.
The Spizza Line and the Peter Schaefer-Mike Fisher-Chris Neil line would likely stay intact, leaving a fourth line with Antoine Vermette, Chris Kelly and one of the following: Vaclav Varada, Patrick Eaves or Brian McGrattan. "
First I think the Schaeffer Havlat pairing is deserving of sacred cow status, and should not be broken up. Next, Smolinski playing with Fisher and Neil is a proven line combination from our "dominant" pre -Nov 30 days. For whatever reason it is a line that works.
But finally as expected, sheer force of circumstance is forcing the move towards putting the Kid Line together. If you have to choose between Varada, McGrattan and Eaves to play with Kelly and Vermette, then Eaves is the obvious choice. This is a no brainer.
This line, given half a chance, is going to just smoke people. We will have a team with four unrelenting lines that are just going to crush opponents into oblivion.