Jagr: “I’ve never, in last 25 years, been in this situation. I’ve never been on a team that is almost the worst in NHL after 1/2 the season”
— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) December 29, 2014
This is saying something. Jagr, 42, has over 1,500 games experience with seven different organizations; aside from being stuck on one of the league’s worst teams, he’s also watching on as Devils GM Lou Lamoriello orchestrates one of the most unorthodox coaching ploys in NHL history.
This is a pretty unique situation. Which makes one wonder if Jagr wants any part of it.
Though he’s said in the past he has no interest in being a rental, Jagr could easily be New Jersey’s most valuable — and moveable asset — when the trade deadline rolls around. He’s free of any no-movement/trade clause, carries a relatively modest $3.5M cap hit and is a pending UFA. He’s still a highly productive player, tied for the team lead in scoring with 20 points, and showed how valuable he can be to a potential run two playoffs ago, when he scored 10 points en route to helping Boston advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
One would think — think — Jagr wants another shot at a championship after missing out on the playoffs last year. This is not a guy accustomed to sitting at home during the spring; prior to last year he went to the postseason in five straight NHL campaigns, advancing to at least the second round in each of the last four.
Publicly, Jagr has re-iterated he doesn’t want to leave New Jersey. But with his GM now behind the bench — which many see as a move to judge the value of his assets — Jagr also knows the reality of the situation.
“You’re asking the wrong guy at the wrong time,” he said of potentially being traded, per the Record. “We’ve still go so many games left you never know what can happen.
“I still believe in miracles. Miracles happen.”