As the countdown to the Friday’s noon ET kickoff to free agency continues, “Jagr Watch” remains in limbo. There was the hope that Jaromir Jagr would choose between the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens or some other team as early as last night, but he hasn’t made a decision as of this afternoon.
While reports indicate that Jagr and/or his agent Petr Svboda spoke with members of the Penguins, Red Wings and other camps today, it seems like we won’t find an answer much earlier than the beginning of the free-agent frenzy. One must note that he cannot sign a contract until noon Saturday anyway, but there was the hope that he would provide an answer to satiate the masses.
Will he be worth the hype?
On one hand, he’s 39 years old and hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2007-08 season with the New York Rangers. There’s an obvious risk involved with adding an aging player who probably lost a few steps but must have at least some ego considering his Hall of Fame resume.
But what a Hall of Fame resume it is. Jagr has 1,599 points in his regular season career in the NHL, which ranks him ninth all-time in league history. He scored an solid- but relatively weak for his standards – 71 points in that 07-08 season. Jagr impressed much more in his last two playoff runs with the Rangers, though, scoring 11 points in 10 playoff games in 06-07 and 15 in 10 postseason contests in 07-08.
His numbers haven’t slowed down much in the KHL over the last few years (and during international competition), but it’s hard to say how that will translate to the NHL. Then again, with the kind of linemates he would skate with if he chose the Red Wings or Penguins, he might be in a great position to succeed.
“There is an outside chance of KHL, but something would have to go terribly bad for that,” Svoboda said.
As exciting, odd and occasionally excruciating as #Jagrwatch must be for some fans, they’re just going to need to wait. Jagr might even end up being worth dealing with all of the anxiety, too.