SUNRISE–A four-game homestand for the first-place Florida Panthers ends tonight with a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at BB&T Center. After defeating two Stanley Cup finalists over the weekend the Panthers will try to extend their winning streak to three games with the suddenly competitive Maple Leafs.
No matter what happens in the remaining Atlantic Division games before the break, the Panthers will continue to lead the divison through end of January. This may be a surprise to hockey fans in general, but not to those who have watched the Panthers since Jaromir Jagr arrived in South Florida at the trade deadline last season. Since then Florida is played at a 105-point pace as Jagr has provided the missing ingredient that has galvanized the team into a powerhouse.
Tonight’s game will not be easy. The Maple Leafs are who are playing improved hockey under Coach Mike Babcock, in his first year with Toronto after a long tenure in Detroit. Speaking of Babcock, he recently expressed his wish to get hockey legend Jaromir Jagr’s autograph.
Jagr is quite popular these days and rightfully so. The fans elected him to the NHL All Star game as captain of the Atlantic Division even though he expressed gratitude for the votes but encouraged fans to vote for younger players. Among All Star jerseys listed for sale at NHL.com, the 68 jersey is the only one labeled, “few left,” and at $200 a pop, that’s a lot of appreciation, especially in a game featuring Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin and Jamie Benn, to name a few.
The legend prefers to use the week between regular season games to continue the private workouts documented here and other places all season. This article explains the whirlwind of activity that players go through at the NHL’s biggest party of the year. Like JAGRometer.com, this piece shows consideration for Jagr’s matters in declining if he could not participate without sanctions.
For our growing number of Czech readers, we are going to share Czech articles we discover about Jagr in our preparations of our reports.
In addition to tonight’s game, it’s a big day for prodigy Aleksander Barkov, who signed a six year contract worth nearly $35.4 million. The deal will be announced Tuesday afternoon. Jonathon Huberdeau received a lucrative deal after a short holdout in training camp. Barkov is the latest benefactor of the Jagr effect:
Assorted Jagr-related links:
Florida Panthers 2015-16 Media Guide
Florida Panthers Team website: http://www.floridapanthers.com
Some Jagr-related social media accounts:
@68Jagr This is the real site, the one and only official Jaromir Jagr twitter account. Postings are rare, but worth the wait. Jagr has been more active on Twitter this season.
The two best Jagr facebook pages are:
This is the page Jagr posts on, if he is going to post at all.
Another good facebook page is one produced by someone in the Czech Republic. It has more than 100,000 likes. This is not the official page, but it is very good.
@FlaPanthers and @FLAPanthersPR The official twitter accounts for news about the team.
@dougielarge Doug Cifu, few owners in sports relate to the fans as much as this man who interacts with fans and media on twitter.
@goldieonice — Steve Goldstein, TV play-by-play of the Panthers. Brings all those exciting highlights to life.
@DenisPotvinFox — NHL Hall of Famer Denis Potvin works along side Goldstein in the booth.
@HeyRedDeer color man Randy Moller who left the radio booth to help Goldstein and Potvin on TV.
@GeorgeRichards Panthers beat writer for the Miami Herald.
@HFialkov Panthers beat writer for the Sun Sentinel
@AntwanStaley Includes Panthers coverage in his all sports all the time reports
twitter for Cats On the Prowl, offering detailed reviews of Panthers games and more.
@SunshineSkate twitter for The Sunshine Skate, another blog with special emphasis on advanced stats and charts that will make you dizzy.
@Zdenek_Janda US-based Czech reporter who covers the NHL and reports on other news for the people of the Czech Republic.
@Jsmidcro Jan Smid was a US-based Czech reporter who collaborated on “Jagr”, an autobiography in the late 90’s detailing Jagr’s early life and career in the NHL.
@NHLHistoryGirl This hockey loving woman shares interesting informational tidbits about hockey and the NHL in general. How does she do it?
@MyRegularFace She’s another gem. Watches lots of games and gets up GIFs faster than nhl.com or anyone else out there.
@HockeyCzech National organization for hockey in the Czech Republic.
@68isgr8 is the twitter for The Traveling Jagrs. Clad in different Jagr jerseys and hair styles from 68’s career, they gained league-wide recognition when they caught Jagr’s attention during a pre-game skate of a Dallas Stars game in Canada during the 2012-2013 season. Since then, they convene at games in Western Canada and make a road trip or two every year, playing street hockey with locals, posing for hundreds of pictures, and having a good time with fans while honoring an all-time NHL legend.
Ray Haluska aka Kladno Jagr, curator of the Jagr-O-Meter
https://twitter.com/CruisingRay or email ROKINRAY@AOL.COM