Jaromir Jagr: The Show Must Go On
On July 1st of this year the big news around the NHL was that Jaromir Jagr was returning to the league as a Philadelphia Flyer. I remember what I was thinking that day. Here comes another hyped-up comeback that goes sour fast. Yeah, he was the best player in the league for a while but he’s 39 years old and apparently is 240lbs. Not the best combination if you plan on lighting it up and turning heads.
Naturally, preparing for this years numerous pools I looked up his stats in the KHL. While it would seem impressive, posting around a point per game over three seasons, it is not NHL. Even when he last played as a Ranger he had a pattern of deteriorating point production. In four drafts I couldn’t help but smile when he was drafted, in my opinion, a little early. I had even considered writing a blog about how he would be surely over valued on draft day in your fantasy pools, with warnings to avoid him like the plague. I must confess that it looks like I was showing a lack of respect to the lethal skill the mullet posseses.
No, he’s not the fastest guy on the ice but it’s still impossible to get the puck off of him. He can find the holes and open ice, pick the corners and make great passes. He has enough youth around him that the lack of speed and energy doesn’t seem to matter as much, and Philly doesn’t need to play him over 20 minutes a game. In fact he’s only broke 20 once. The Flyers bought him for the powerplay, and as a mentor, and the move is definitely paying dividends already. Jagr is one of the hottest players in the league right now with 11 points in his last 7 games. The only question in my mind is if he can keep up the pace for the whole 82 game season. A player of his age and size can have endurance problems as the year progresses.
So far he shows only signs of improvement rather than fatigue. Maybe he can show us all that we should never have forgotten about the wonders he achieved during his time in the NHL. He sits 9th upon the all-time NHL point leaders list. Could he overtake Sakic, Lemieux and Yzerman? If he plays after this season he surely could. Maybe he will show us that he’s back to add some more trophies and rings to his collection. Whatever is to come, Jaromir has my attention now. The skill still shows, and the show must go on.
…and that is the last word.