When Jaromir Jagr tied Mario Lemieux in career points on Tuesday, he wasn’t happy. His team had lost in overtime to Philadelphia and his concerns about the mistakes they had been making took precedence over his personal accomplishment.
The Devils won last night as he claimed sole possession of seventh place in the NHL’s all-time points list, so naturally he was in a much better mood.
The 41-year-old forward suggested that he would play until 70 to make up the 1,133 point gap that remains between him and Wayne Gretzky.
“Hey, I can do it,” Jagr told the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti. “If somebody can do it, I can do it.”
Obviously he was joking, but the kernel of truth is that Jagr isn’t looking to retire anytime soon. He previously said that this wouldn’t be his last year of hockey “as long as I don’t die” and added that he would simply play somewhere else if he couldn’t find work in the NHL beyond the 2013-14 campaign.
Given that he has 13 goals, 36 points, and a team-leading plus-13 rating in 46 games, it seems reasonable to assume he’ll be pursued if he decides to test the free agent waters this summer.
And while Gretzky isn’t a realistic goal, he might end up surpassing Steve Yzerman, Marcel Dionne, and Ron Francis before he hangs up his skates.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.