Friday, March 22 by The Hockey Daily.
In the midst of a playoff race the Dallas Stars may be fielding some phone calls for their legendary winger Jaromir Jagr. The Great Jaromir has had success everywhere he’s played and what a motivating factor it would be to win a Cup for JR, who last won the prize in 1992 when most of the players in the league were learning how to ride a bike.
In his eighteen seasons in the NHL, Jagr has made the playoffs sixteen times. In that time he has produced 189 points in 180 playoff games. Jagr is also second all time in game winning goals and he has two Stanley Cup rings, five Art Ross Trophies and a Hart.
I know what you’re thinking. That was then and this is now. What have you done for me lately Jags? Jagr has three game winning goals this season. He can still produce when the game is on the line.
Jagr brings leadership and experience to any roster. Adding a future Hall of Famer and top ten scorer in NHL history is probably smart. It’s especially smart because Jagr can still play. Last night in a game against the defending NHL champs Jagr broke through in the third period to score the game winner by dominating both Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty of the LA Kings down low. Both players tried to get the puck off him and simply couldn’t.
Would Dallas trade him? There is no evidence to suggest they will. Jagr has been great so far for the Stars. He’s a role model for their young players and a steady contributor to the success they’ve had at times this season. However, if you are Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk you have to consider it. Jagr is 41 years old and may not play next season. Also, the Stars may feel like they aren’t ready to win now which makes trading Jagr for future assets a great move for the organization.
Who Needs Jagr? Everyone! But the main candidates to acquire Jagr would be contending teams with a puck possession style that suits his game. The Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Anaheim Ducks could be leading the charge.
Hawks GM Stan Bowman recently told the Chicago Tribune “I’d like to add to the mix as opposed to trade players away.” He went on to say, “We would consider anything that would give us an improved chance to win but we’ve played really well. If we don’t end up making a trade I’d be comfortable with the group we have here.” Not exactly telling but a clear indication that Chicago could make a move.
The Kings want to remain the Kings and win another Cup. Pierre Lebrun claims the Kings are interested in Jarome Iginla with these comments, “I think if he’s made available, keep an eye on the Stanley Cup champion LA Kings; Darryl Sutter obviously has the relationship with Iginla from his Calgary days.” If the Kings don’t get Iginla, Jagr may be their second choice.
Based on their success this season the Habs should be considering a run at the Cup. Why not? They’re basically a lock to make the playoffs at this point and with Carey Price in the cage, they have the potential to win some rounds. Adding a Jagr could be perfect for the Habs who can play him on a line with C Tomas Plekanec, Jagr’s countryman. Big 68 would also be a terrific option against Chara of the Bruins. Jagr’s size and keep away skills would make him tough to handle on a nightly basis for the big minute big man on the Bruins’ defence.
Ducks GM Bob Murray has been busy signing Getzlaf and Perry over the last few weeks. He has been very quiet about his intentions regarding the trade deadline, but it is fair to assume he’s as much a candidate as anyone to ask about Jagr’s availability. What makes it less likely is that the Ducks already have Teemu Selanne, who brings a very similar presence Jagr would bring. But it’s fun to speculate how entertaining a line of Getzlaf, Perry and Jagr would be. Opposing teams would have nightmares defending against that combination of size and skill.