Jaromir Jagr is back in the NHL and he’ll be playing his home games in the state of Pennsylvania once again, but not in Pittsburgh. The Flyers and GM Paul Holmgren locked up Jagr to a one-year deal to join the team. After an overactive last week that saw the Flyers deal off star centers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, it’ll be a future Hall of Famer in Jagr that comes in to try and help bring the Flyers to the Stanley Cup.
The wild part about Jagr’s deal is that it’s worth $3.3 million for the year. After being away from the NHL for the past three years playing in the KHL with Avangard Omsk, Jagr decided it was time to come back to North America and make a run at the Cup once again. After being courted heavily by Pittsburgh and Detroit only to see them pull back their offers before free agency got under way this afternoon, Jagr was left to sort through a reported host of other offers.
Jagr won’t be the dynamic superstar that he was while he played with the Penguins in the 1990s but with the depth the Flyers have, he’ll be able to make his place on the power play and be able to pick his moments playing with the likes of Claude Giroux and Daniel Briere. Jagr at this point in his career is a purely offensive player and playing under coach Peter Laviolette he’ll get the freedom to do what he has to do to score.
Seeing Jagr in Flyers orange and black will be a stunning sight and given how things went in negotiations with the Penguins, all Flyers-Pens games are going to be must-see games. Making things all the more interesting is that the Flyers will be taking part in the Winter Classic and that means being on HBO’s 24/7. You’ll probably want to be dialed in for when the Flyers make their first appearance in Pittsburgh on December 29. We’ll just set the DVR right now for that one.
The wait is finally over. The 2016 Stanley Cup Final is about to begin.
Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks received some time to lick their wounds after three grueling playoff rounds, so expect Game 1 to be fun, even if there might be a subtle bit of rust here or there.
The star power is considerable. The beards are burly (at least on the Sharks’ side). It’s time to get cracking.
Game 1 airs on NBC. You can also stream it via the link below and enjoy some “NHL Live” coverage leading in.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Plenty of people believe that the San Jose Sharks’ defense is superior to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ personnel, but it’s one thing to be better on paper. When you’re on the ice, against a speedy and talented team, can you really stop the Penguins?
All signs point to sorely underrated Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic drawing the difficult assignment of trying to slow down Sidney Crosby.
Vlasic, a former Team Canada teammate of Crosby (as you can see from this post’s main image), realizes that he’ll have his hands full. In fact, he seems to believe that this will be an even tougher challenge than trying to solve St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko.
The fantastic all-around defender isn’t exactly expecting to reinvent the wheel in his strategy against Crosby.
“It will be the same as in the first three series,” Vlasic said, via The Hockey News. “We’re playing against the top players on every time – Sid, (Evgeni) Malkin and those types of guys for Pittsburgh. Me and (Justin Braun) will just keep doing what we did, taking away time and space and hopefully it works out.”
The two players have had glowing things to say about each other for some time, but don’t be surprised if this high-level competition turns those happy thoughts into hard feelings.
It stands as one of the matchups to watch in what could be a fresh and fascinating Stanley Cup Final.
This summer looks like it could be one of changes for the Detroit Red Wings, even beyond the most obvious storyline of Pavel Datsyuk‘s future.
One area where the Red Wings would like to make some tweaks is in net, namely in trading Jimmy Howard. The Detroit Free-Press points out that GM Ken Holland admitted that moving the former franchise netminder “might be good for the organization.”
It’s reasonable to wonder what kind of market there will be for Howard, whose deal ($5.29 million cap hit through 2018-19) looks pretty tough to stomach on paper.
Maybe it’s best to consider the Red Wings’ options if Howard starts the 2016-17 season off on a strong note, or something of that nature. Perhaps an expansion draft could “solve” that problem if Detroit cannot find any takers?
The Red Wings remain forward-thinking and patient, which likely explains why the Free-Press focuses on their confidence with prospect Jared Coreau.
“In the big scheme of things, he’ll play in Grand Rapids for another year, but now we know he can play a lot of minutes if needed,” Goalie coach Jeff Salajko said. “Jimmy Howard played four years in the minors. We’re not rushing Jared, but he is going to be an NHL goalie, there is no doubt in my mind about that.”
In other words, a pairing of Petr Mrazek and Coreau wouldn’t just be a cost-effective duo … it might just be the Red Wings’ ideal scenario in the not-too-distant future.
From the NHL:
Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.
Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.