The twitter general managers of NHL teams have sounded off on the idea of bringing Jaromir Jagr to their team for the 2017-18 season. Training camp opens in a mere 11 weeks.
Jagr eclipsed Mark Messier’s 1887 points to become the second all time scorer and he’s likely motivated to reach 2,000 with 1.5 decent seasons, provided he’s given the chance. The Jagr-O-Meter shows a few plateaus Jagr can reach this coming season and the team signing him can look forward to a celebration when he gets to the next major mark. If it doens’t work out, he can ride off into the sunset next season. Competitive teams can hope he can return to scoring 25+ goals and 60+ points while maintaining control of the puck in the offensive zone. Up and coming teams can flip Jagr at the deadline for draft picks to help their future after Jagr has helped accelerate the development of their young players. Jagrometer.com expects there is a home in the NHL and reviews the prospects for all 31 teams.
What’s left to accomplish?
2000 points, for one thing. Getting 86 points would required 1.5 – 2 seasons if Jagr can keep up his production. 58 games are needed to move from fourth to first on the games played list. Jagr has missed only eight games total in the last four seasons. Further ascension up the list for goals and assists are also feasible. With 46 points in an off-season for him his point production still warrants top 6 forward deployment.
Noah @th3f1am3s . Can someone just sign Jagr already!
It would have been unthinkable before the touching tribute the Penguins gave Jagr during a game with the Florida Panthers March 19 at PPG Paints Arena, but the video tribute to honor their former Captain on becoming the 2nd all time leading scorer in NHL history and being named among the NHL’s 100 best players of all time was a stirring moment for Jagr and the sellout Pittsburgh crowd. Still, the price might not be right now as it wasn’t in 2011, when his return from the NHL saw him spend a season in Philadelphia. The Penguins will be going for their third straight Stanley Cup and don’t need help selling out games. The sometimes deliberate pace of his game might not gel well with the Penguins style of play which has been described as quick strike and uptempo.
Mired with salary cap concerns the Capitals may not have the budget or interest in a return engagement, though the current Capitals may be a better fit for them than the 2001 team Jagr joined after the turn of the century.
New York Rangers
For a team that struggles to score goals the Rangers could use a boost Jagr could provide to their offense. His first go around with the team resulted him becoming a beloved Captain who set team records for goals and points in a season. There were hundreds of Rangers #68 jersey, some on young fans born since Jagr left NYC in 2008 so there is probably as much love for Jagr there than anywhere he’s played in the NHL.
The first stop of Jagr’s post KHL career in the NHL started with the Flyers where a season of the legend and his off-ice regimen inspired great seasons for Claude Giroux, Jakub Vorachek and Scott Hartnell. None of these players have thrived like they did when #68 was around. Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull posed the question to Flyers GM Ron Hextall and quashed the idea.
Jagr spent 3/4 of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with the Lone Star state’s lone NHL team and was the team’s leading scorer before being dealt to the Boston Bruins for their playoff run. Jamie Benn probably benefited from the creativity displayed during Jagr’s brief tenure and has even won a scoring title since his time with the Legend. Jagr notched his 1,000 assist with the Stars.
A great first game pre-game standing ovation was capped with the only goal of the game off his skate in Jagr’s debut with the Bruins. A strong team made it to the finals but of all Jagr’s stops since 2011, the time with Boston seemed the most uncomfortable for Jagr. Still, the Bruins made it to the finals where they lost to Chicago. Held to no goals during the playoffs Jagr did manage 10 assists. At the expiration of his contract the two parties parted ways.
New Jersey Devils
Jagr posted 67 points during the 2013-14 season with the Devils and became the oldest player to record a hat trick against the Flyers. He was starting to chip away at the NHL scoring charts and had a great relationship with Coach Pete DeBoer. The next season the Devils struggled and failed in many attempts to forge ties with the goalie pulled in December and DeBoer was fired the day after Christmas. Jagr was leading the team in scoring at the time but with a triumvirate of coaches in Lou Lamierello, Scott Stevens and Adam Oates, Jagr’s playing time was sliced by a third as they ran the Devils like a youth team and evenly divided the playing time over the four lines. Mercifully and to his surprise, Jagr became a Florida Panther at the trade deadline. The Devils are trying to get Ilya Kovalchuck back from the struggling KHL and Ray Shero is their general manager. When Jagr was rumored to be coming back to Pittsburgh in 2011, Shero lowballed Jagr for less money than a half-year wonder who no longer plays in the NHL. It would a major surprise if a phone call is even made between Jagr and the Devils.
A thrilling end to the 2013-14 season resulted in an exciting conclusion to the season for the Panthers and Jagr clicked instantly with new linemates Jon Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov. The trio carried over their season-ending success and Jagr signed the day after the season ended to continue the fun. The next season Jagr notched 66 points, was team MVP and the Panthers enjoyed their best season, collecting 103 points. With a few retirements, trades, free agent departures and numerous injuries a so-so start by the Panthers resulted in the termination of coach Gerald Gallant. GM Tom Rowe took over and the Panthers never grasped the message that they were now playing for the guy that would negotiate their next contract as Rowe took on a dual role. Jagr finished with a fourth-best 46 points, his worst full season since his return from the KHL and the Panthers limped across the 82-game slate and plummeted from first to sixth place. Months of alleged negotiations later the Panthers decided to go in another direction the morning when free agency started July 1. Jagr expected to come back and the Panthers GM Dale Tallon expressed his appreciation for Jagr’s contributions but said the team was moving on without him.
With the aging Sedin brothers still on the roster this would seem an unlikely destination for Jagr. At 98% capacity the Canucks are drawing pretty well. Jagr’s role in their rebuild seems unlikely.
May not add up for Ottawa and San Jose
You’d have to think San Jose and Ottawa are out. The Sharks already have a #68–Melker Karlsson, and the Senators have #68 Mike Hoffman. Can’t imagine either would give up the number or Jagr skating into town and asking them to surrender it. The Sharks did lose longtime forward Patrick Marleau and the team is coached by DeBoer.
It would be strange to see him in any number but #68, which has important historical significance to the Czech legend and his country. In Spring of 1968 Soviet tanks rolled into Prague, ousted the party secretary and installed their own puppet regime loyal to Moscow. Jagr’s grandfather also died in prison that year. For his entire career he has paid tribute to those events in his homeland by wearing #68.
Other team’s fans state their case…
NORTH OF THE US BORDER
A few Jets fans chimed in on Twitter and one included a chart to make the case
The Jets played in a revved up arena and Jagr could hear some roars if he can muster up points again this year. Patrick Laine could also pick his brain as he tries to avoid a sophomore jinx.
Home of most of the Traveling Jagrs. They and other Flames fans would love to see him in Western Canada to help the Flames for a season for two.
Jagr would be a nice addition to a young team that has scoring champ Conner McDavid leading the way. It would also be great for the Traveling Jagrs as those not based in Calgary live in Edmonton. The Oilers have expressed interest in Jagr in past years.
With the loss of Radulov to Dallas and Jagr’s international star power the legend could be the big-name forward to balance out the luster in goal with Carey Price just signed to a long-term contract. Jagr has been linked to Montreal in the past.
The upstart Leafs with their stable of young, skilled forwards have already been busy this off-season and their cap situation is getting tight. Mike Babcock has been a fan of Jagr for years, even said out loud he hoped he could get a stick from #68 at the 2016 All Star game. How about it Mike, a stick for a #68 jersey?
Back in the USA
These teams have the asterisk of limited cap space but still could use Jagr’s help.
The Blackhawks have lost the services of Marian Hossa who has developed a lingering skin condition that has proven untreatable. The Hawks have already been busy, reacquiring Brandon Saad. Any team can benefit from a play making forward and Chicago is no exception.
The Predators lost in the finals to the Penguins and have made a few additions including Hartnell, Jagr’s liNe nemate with the Flyers. Their coach Peter Laviolette also coached those two in Philadelphia. It’s a long season and a deep playoff adds to it. Adding some know how up front could take some pressure of the Predators defense.
Columbus Blue Jackets
A few Jackets fans think it would be fun to have Jagr face the Penguins several times a season but the team management already bought out Craig Hartnell presumably to get younger and faster. Jagr had 16 goals to Hartnell’s 13 and recorded 46 points to Hartnell’s 37. Coach John Tortorella has expressed admiration for Jagr’s work ethic in the past, but like Babcock, may have been showing respect and not really figuring #68 could fit into his short-term plans either.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Would the Lightning add to their forward depth and also cause some turmoil for their downstate rivals? They recently added Chris Kunitz from the Penguins and may not be looking for another veteran presence but it would be fun to see them take a shot at the Panthers.
New York Islanders
Could Jagr be the off-the-shelf high IQ player the Isles need to keep John Taveras happy? Jagr fans from Madison Square Garden and the Rock as well as visitors from the Czech Republic could the Isles boost attendance at the Barclay Center, where the Isles played to 82% of capacity.
Detroit Red Wings
The Wings missed the playoffs for the first time since Jagr’s career started and will be moving into a new arena with a couple of young stars and old reliables. Despite a last place finish Detroit played to capacity so their interest in Jagr would be in mentoring and not as a gate attraction.
Jagr and Carolina GM Ron Francis sipped from the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992 and enjoyed many great seasons with the Penguins that decade. Can anything be done to help the Canes attendance which is a league-worst 63 percent. Jagr wouldn’t hurt but there have been no rumors or even fan suggestions we saw on Twitter that this would be a good idea.
Strong on defense the Wild offense might need a shot of Jagr (saving that all column) to boost their scoring. A few Wild twitter fans think it would be a good idea too. A few goals would have helped Minnesota in their playoff series with the Blues.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues have been the most consistently successful team never to win a Cup. Maybe another capable point producer can put them over the top or at least another round.
The team is in flux and attendance is down to 82% of capacity. Nathan McKinnon would probably benefit from a year or two with the legend. With concerns about Jagr’s speed, the most common excuse used for teams not signing him despite prolific production, the high altitude might pose a problem or make Jagr so strong that at normal altitudes he’d never run out of gas.
Year-round training is not a problem here but the Coyotes cut ties to Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata this off-season and may want to keep things young. But trading two roster spots for two old guys and replacing them with Jagr wouldn’t be the worst move Arizona ever considered. Attendance is down to 72% of capacity and long-time Yotes fans would welcome a name they could latch on to this season.
The Sabres nearly passed the Panthers last season and despite their struggles still play to 95% capacity by drawing fans from both sides of Niagra Falls. Jack Eichel’s development could be enhanced by some playing time with the five-time scoring champ who has shown to be a positive young players in his 40s.
Los Angeles Kings
A new coach has his own ideas for the Kings and a twitter shout out to Kings fan and Sheldon Cooper foil actor Wil Wheaton has yet to produce a response. LA would certainly suit Jagr’s thirst for the beach as well as put girlfriend Veronika in position to advance her acting and modeling career.
Jagr has been in the league longer than this franchise. Maybe Jagr brings some added buzz in that West Coast’s two-team market and enough points to keep up in the Pacific Division.
Las Vegas Knights
Former Panthers Coach Gerald Gallant runs the expansion Golden Knights and saw the impact Jagr had on his team when he coached the legend on the East Coast. Former teammates Jon Marchessault and Reilly Smith are already in Vegas though Jagr and Marchessault were not always in sync with the Cats. Jagr’s former GM in Washington George McPhee is the Golden Knights GM, though their association in DC ended when Jagr was shipped to the Rangers after a few seasons that were far short of what Jagr produced in Pittsburgh.
Jagrometer.com is assembled by Ray Haluska. Comments welcome via the comment box on this page, email at email@example.com or to twitter @CruisingRay.