Shortly after free agency opened, the Blues signed veteran forward Jason Arnott to a one-year deal.
Arnott will bring plenty of experience and leadership to the Blues this season. He’s played in 17 NHL seasons and scored 904 points (400 goals, 504 assists) in 1,172 games. He scored a game-winning goal in double overtime to give New Jersey a Stanley Cup in 2000. He has recorded 72 points (31 goals, 41 assists) in the playoffs.
A Dream Realized
As a kid, Jason Arnott dreamed of scoring an overtime goal to win the Stanley Cup. He did just that with the New Jersey Devils in 2000.
Arnott arrived in St. Louis recently and has begun to skate with his new teammates at the Ice Zone at St. Louis Mills, the team’s official practice facility. He took a few minutes recently to sit down and answer some questions for stlouisblues.com.
You’ve been here only a few weeks, but what are your early impressions of St. Louis? It’s a really cool city. It reminds me a little bit of Nashville, just a little bit bigger. But it’s very friendly and accommodating. There are great restaurants and we’ve had fun so far.
You spent four seasons with the Nashville Predators recently, so you know a little bit about the Blues and their style of play. The roster has changed a bit over the years, but as an opponent, what kind of things did you expect when you played the Blues? The Blues are a hard, rugged team. They always come to play. They’re very physical and they play both ends of the rink. We always had our battles with them, and I found them to be one of the toughest teams to play against.
Was signing in St. Louis an easy decision to make? I didn’t really even think about St. Louis when things were happening (at first), but I know Doug Armstrong from Dallas and we had a good rapport there. I had one look at the team and I remembered a lot of guys that I had played against. It was a no-brainer for me. I’ve heard a lot about the city and the organization and it made my choice real easy.
At this point in your career, what qualities do you expect to bring to the Blues, both on and off the ice? Obviously, leadership on and off the ice is important. When you play the game this long, you can bring some stuff in the dressing room and on the ice. For myself, I still want to go out and produce and score goals and help the team out as much as I can.
You won a Stanley Cup as a member of the New Jersey Devils in 2000. Can you describe what that felt like? It was the best time of my life. You can’t put it into words to other guys who have never won (it), but it’s something I’ll always remember and never forget. I still watch the videos from back then in the summertime, and I still get chills and goosebumps thinking about it.
You scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to clinch the Cup for your team. That’s something that players dream of. Is that the best moment of your career so far? That would be the best, yeah. I think it will be hard to top that one. It’s something you dream about. When you play as a young kid, when you’re seven or eight, in your basement calling the plays out, that’s what you dream about.
Having won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey and knowing what it takes to get to that point, do you see the same sort of qualities in the Blues dressing room that maybe you saw in New Jersey? Yeah. It’s hard to say these days, though. The game has changed a lot from back in 2000, but the Blues were hard working team when I was playing against them when I was in Washington at the end of last year. (We're) very offensive, and if we play both ends of the rink and get great goaltending, anything can happen as long as you get in the playoffs.