The Calgary Flames signed Jaromir Jagr to a one-year, $1 million deal. What are the Flames getting in the Czech winger who will turn 46 late in the season?
The accolades of Jagr run deep. He is a five-time Art Ross Trophy winner (given to the player who leads the league in points at season’s end), a three time Lester Pearson Trophy winner (most outstanding player as voted on by the NHLPA), a Masterton Trophy winner (given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey), a Hart Trophy winner (league MVP in 1998/1999), an eight-time All-Star, and a two time Stanley Cup Champion.
Jaromir Jagr is a distant second in the career scoring race behind The Great One. He is a veteran of 23 seasons (#24 starts in a few days) where he has played for eight teams (Calgary makes his ninth).
He is definitely a well-aged man
Jagr was drafted fifth overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990. If you mark that as the beginning of his career, his time in the NHL is older than all but eight members of the projected Calgary Flames’ roster.
When his projected center was born (Sam Bennett), Jagr already had 537 points and two Cups.
Jagr has missed three games in two seasons, proving he is aging rather well. His point totals (66 in 2015/2016 and 46 in 2016/2017) are nothing to sneeze at. Last season he averaged a solid 17 minutes a night for a Florida squad who was loaded with talent.
He is an aged man
All of that being said, he will still be 46 in February. While playing in Calgary could help them be a mentor to some of the young guys on that squad, and there are several, he is now playing in the hardest hitting division in the hardest hitting conference in hockey.
While Jagr has never been known as a defensive forward, everyone in the West needs to be to succeed. Being on a line with Troy Brouwer could help but he will definitely have a target on him when he is on the ice.
Whether his body will hold up is the question.
Cheap is a good thing
With Matt Stajan and Mikhail Backlund both having contracts due at the end of the year, getting Jagr for a team friendly one year, $1 million deal was crucial. They won’t have dead money if Jagr hangs it up after this season, and it was a relatively low risk move for GM Brad Treliving.
Jagr didn’t need the money either. He is a part owner of a Czech team in his native land where he was playing prior to this weekend.
Another little bonus for the Flames is that they signed him away from a conference nemesis, and perhaps a playoff competitor in St. Louis. Several teams were kicking the tires on Jagr, but the Flames and Blues were front runners.
The Blues signed Scottie Upshall, and the Flames got #68.
The Blues and Flames are linked in a surprising number of ways. There was the Monday Night Miracle, the Blues getting not just Brett Hull, but also Al MacInnis from Calgary. Calgary getting former Blues’ Dennis Wideman and Troy Brouwer.
Not to mention, the father of young phenom Matt Tkachuk, Keith, played parts of nine seasons with the Blues.
We know a few things from this signing.
One, Jagr will move one step closer to playing until his 50th birthday.
Two, Calgary is serious about a playoff run.
Three, seeing 68 in a Flames’ jersey should be a ton of fun.
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