The Hitting Zone

The NHL just makes it up as they go along, why can't we?

My Official Stance on Jagr

Ever since Jaromir Jagr showed a return to form at this spring’s IIHF World Championship the rumor mill has been buzzing with the will Jagr make an NHL comeback vibe.  Jagr himself has stated that the Penguins along with the Rangers and Habs would comprise some kind of short list of teams.   The fire was stoked further when Penguins Gm Ray Shero travelled to the WC tho it was never confirmed he spoke with Jagr.  Shero even said afterwards that he didn’t.

Let me say right now, unequivocally, that I am dead set against a return in any form by Jaromir Jagr to the Pittsburgh Penguins.  

First of all, he will turn forty during the 11/12 NHL season.  That’s old and very few players not named Chelios, Lidstrom, or Selanne, or Howe have shown that they have the ability to compete at that age.  There were times during his tour with the Pens when he was in his prime that I questioned his night-in night-out commit level.  Combine that with age and sure to be fatigue, no thanks.

In addition he hasn’t played in the NHL since 2008.  Sure he has seen the post lockout NHL but he has had the luxury of playing on the larger KHL ice surface in a much different game style since then.  He’s only played 55, 51, & 49 games in his past three season in the KHL.  Now the KHL regular season this year was only 54 games but it still raises the concern at his age that the last 30 games plus playoffs would find Double J flat-out gassed.  His durability is not my concern, his stamina is.

Finally I just don’t understand the nostalgic love fest that some Penguins fans have with his return.  Jagr was never my favorite player. I know his departure to the Capitals was more the product of the Pens financial woes but his own locker room attitude and actions did nothing to endear him to me.  I own one of his jerseys that I never wear.  I was just never high on him.  Skilled truly but he’s never come across to me as someone who was great in the room.  He also has a history of not being able to share the spotlight (see: Comebacks by players named Lemiuex, Mario). Wonder how that would work out with Crosby, Sidney and Malkin, Evgeni?

Looking past the love how can anyone really justify a one year flier to this guy given the Pens cap situation.  The Penguins have $3,687,500 in projected cap room and a ton of other forwards to worry about.  Even at the minimum, how do you justify the risk?  I can’t.

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Written by ozman51

May 20, 2011 at 3:00 PM

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