For whatever reason, Jaromir Jagr left the New York Rangers and the NHL with limited fanfare after 17 impressive seasons. Maybe it was because perceptions of his attitude (especially the way he left the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins) or just due to factors including his nationality, but it felt like his decision to leave for the KHL following the 2007-08 season was met with a shoulder shrug.
Perhaps I just wasn’t looking in the right places, though, because there’s clearly some interest in seeing the former star return to the NHL. Those people will be disappointed to learn that Dmitry Chesnokov passed along a report that Jagr’s agent said he is not considering any offers from NHL teams at the time.
It’s a shame that he won’t give it one more whirl, especially since he played so well in the 2008 playoffs. After “just” scoring 71 points during the 2007-08 season, Jagr was dominant at times in that postseason, scoring 15 points in 10 games.
Then again, there are two reasons he won’t come back. The first is that he likely won’t receive the kind of money playing in the NHL that he would in the KHL. There’s also the physical element that might deter him. Perhaps he looks back at that bone-rattling hit he received from Alex Ovechkin during the 2010 Olympics as evidence that he’s better off finishing his career overseas.
GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: