Jagr: Coaching change might not help unless players ‘wake up’

Jaromir Jagr didn’t want to see head coach Pete DeBoer get fired and he made that clear in no uncertain terms less than two weeks ago.

“That would be one of the biggest mistakes they could make,” Jagr said at the time. “To be honest with you, without our coaches and the system we play, it would be a lot worse.”

Well, DeBoer got fired anyways and replaced by Adam Oates and Scott Stevens as sort of, but not really, co-head coaches. Oh and GM Lou Lamoriello will temporarily be behind the bench too.

It’s an odd approach to be sure, but could it work? Jagr thinks that’s ultimately up to the players.

“The changes have been made here,” he said, per the NJ.com. “If us as players don’t wake up, it might not help that much. Most of the things that happen here it’s our fault. I think if you’re honest to yourself, no one in this room can say I played good. But you have to be honest to yourself.”

To that end, Jagr put the blame on himself too. Although he’s tied for the team lead in points with 20, the 42-year-old argued that if he had 20 goals rather than five, maybe DeBoer would still be around.

He also suggested that Lamoriello wasn’t put in an easy situation and at the end of the day, the players should take the general manager’s decision to make changes a message.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of changes are here,” Jagr. “We have to be the first to change.”

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