In recent weeks, the blueline has been the focus of much discussion. With the signings of Rafael Diaz, Alexei Emelin (or however his name is spelled this week) and Hal Gill, talk has largely centered on how the Canadiens will fill out the rest of their backend. Who should the team keep? How will they manage the cap? Should Pierre Gauthier explore the free agency market? Undoubtedly, it is a serious issue that will determine the short and mid-term future of the squad. But, with warm, lazy summer days now upon us, it feels appropriate to move away from such a weighty issue. Rather, in this edition of Around the Boards, we will focus on one of the more interesting, and slightly fantasist, rumours the last few weeks: the potential acquisition of Jaromir Jagr.
SaskHab: He and Lundqvist completely rejuvenated the Rangers. They missed the playoffs seven straight years until he put on a MVP-type performance and took a team many picked last in the NHL into the playoffs.
BrenDittero: As for the speculative notion of whether we should sign him or not, it would have to be a short contract / reasonable money deal. Two things that probably wouldn’t be in the ballpark of swaying Jagr from the deal he has now
habs rule: Guys we do not need Jagr nor do we want Jagr. He is 39 years old and I do mean OLD. We have a great young nucleus that do(es) not need a prima donna past his prime peckerhead. You all remember what he has done not what he can do
The Chicoutimi Cucumber: $2 mil for a hulking two-time Cup winner with a track record of formidable offensive skills and ZERO proven evidence of being a bad teammate is a worthwhile risk for a team in need of size and a top-6 forward.
Habsfan: Just because Jagr did well in the World Championship(where most NHLers aren’t even playing) Doesn’t mean he could keep this kind of pace up for an entire season (…) Thankfully, the Habs have said they aren’t interested in him. Let’s not forget that Jagr is notorious for being a cancer in the locker room.
First of all, it seems worthwhile to mention that, according to reports, Jaromir Jagr is close to striking a deal with Omsk. And, frankly, with any luck, he will probably officially sign the day after this article is posted. With that said, it is still fun to toy with the idea.
No doubt this sort of signing would be a stop-gap measure, but as far as stop-gaps go, this seems to be a pretty good one. The presence of another bonafide scorer would relieve some of the pressure on the shoulders of Plekanec, Gionta and Cammalleri. In addition, it would allow extra time and space for the younger forwards to develop at their own pace. Besides, as far as anyone can tell, there is no superstar power-forward secretly waiting in the wings of the Montreal organization.
As for the notion of Jagr being a cancer in the dressing room, that is perhaps overstating things. Nonetheless, it is highly likely the man is possessed with a sizeable ego and more than a few quirks. But, the reality is, on a roster of twenty-three players, such personalities will invariably be present. The likes of Guy Lafleur, Chris Chelios or Patrick Roy were certainly no angels. And we would be kidding ourselves by thinking that Carey Price, Scott Gomez or others on the current edition do not have their occasional egotistical moments. In the end, what we truly need to know about Jagr is this: 1599 points in 1273 games, 2 Stanley Cups, 1 Olympic Gold Medal, awesome hair.
Louis Moustakas is an editor at HabsWorld.net and works for the Coaching Association of Canada in Ottawa. He can be reached at [email protected]