Raise your hand if you saw this one coming. The rumors popped up earlier today that legendary winger Jaromir Jagr was in discussions with Dallas and now it seems the rumors have been proven to be true. As reported by Pierre LeBrun, the Dallas Stars and Jagr have agreed to a one year deal worth $4.5 million.
We’ll have more on this in a bit as more information rolls in, but this is another signing by Joe Nieuwendyk that cements the franchise’s willingness to improve in the short term, making a legitimate push for the post season, as well as bridging the gap for the Stars youthful core to hit their prime. Jagr scored 19 goals and 54 points in 73 games with the Philadelphia Flyers last year, and at age 40, that’s not bad at all. The one year deal carries a low risk and a potentially high reward, the addition of a legendary figure such as Jagr should help sell tickets now that some key members of the Stars previous core (Ott, Ribeiro) have been traded. Jagr has the opportunity, much like recent signing Ray Whitney, to both mentor and benefit from the young players like Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson that Dallas is stacked with.
I don’t think anyone could have predicted this, but the guarantee that Jagr would have a spot in the Stars’ top six, not to mention playing with Benn, Eriksson, and Derek Roy had to have played a major role in his decision. The $4.5 million doesn’t hurt either. The brutal travel schedule for the Stars might be a question mark for some, but it obviously wasn’t enough to deter Jagr. It’s been a wild few days for the Stars organization and a polarizing one for fans, but this is a changing of the guard, so to speak, in Dallas and one that was much needed after the team missed the playoffs for four straight years.
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