Last year, Jaromir Jagr was one of the biggest names moved at the NHL trade deadline.
This year, he doesn’t want it to happen again.
That’s what the veteran Devils forward said on Monday, telling the New Jersey Star-Ledger he’s more than happy to stay put for the year:
“I’m not going to ask for a trade if everything stays the same. I’ll fight to the end. I like it here too much,” Jagr told The Star-Ledger. “I would hate to go to some team just to help them. I’d feel like a rented guy.
“They’d use me the way they want to, not because they need me. They’d already be happy with their team. I don’t think I’d play the same way. I need my 18-19 minutes. I need to play a lot in the third period when the game is on the line and guys are getting tired.
“I hope I stay. Everything can change, but I’ve had fun. I like the system we play. Even though it’s a more defensive system, I don’t mind it at all.”
Jagr, who turns 42 two weeks prior to the Mar. 5 deadline, has enjoyed tremendous success in New Jersey this year. He sits in the NHL’s top-30 in points (34 in 40 games) and leads the Devils with 13 goals. In fact, his goalscoring exploits are quickly becoming one of the stories of this season, as he’s on pace to score 27 — which would be his highest total since scoring 30 with the Rangers in 2006-07.
The Devils currently sit fifth in the Metropolitan Division, three points back of Philly and five back of Detroit/Toronto for the final wild card spot, so it’s very possible Jagr’s name will come up as a potential rental as the deadline draws near. It’ll be interesting to see if he changes his mind about going elsewhere, especially given the impact he had on Boston’s Stanley Cup run of a year ago (10 points in 22 games, averaged nearly 18 minutes per night.)