A name that doesn’t need a big introduction among many hockey fans, Jagr comes to Texas with a big list of accomplishments and amazing highlights already. The now 40-year old winger has played almost two decades in the NHL along with three years in the KHL from 2008-2011. He has a career average of over a point-per-game, five Art Ross trophies for being the top point-scorer in a season, one Hart trophy as the league MVP, two Stanley Cups, and many more achievements. While the Czech Republic has been on the better hockey countries in the world with a many more players coming to the NHL in recent years, no one from European country even seems to come close to Jagr. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the 5th overall pick back in 1990, Jaromir would go on to score over 1000 points for the franchise and still sits 2nd in many offensive stats only to the great Mario Lemieux. He then spent time with the Washington Capitals, a few good years with the New York Rangers after the last lockout, and returned to the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers last season after some time overseas.
Jagr impressed last season, returning with 19 goals and 54 points in 73 games in Philly. While he might not be the man capable of putting up over 100 points anymore (something he has done five times in his career in North America), he does provide a very nice punch and still can strike fear into a defender. 1653 career points in the NHL will make that happen. Possibly the greatest European trained forward, Jagr will look to add another chapter here in Dallas. He wanted to continue his career and feels he still has a few years to give, and GM Joe Nieuwendyk approached him once free season started and inked the veteran right-winger to a deal for $4.5.
The buzz around Jagr was immediate and while some are not sure about the Stars’ plan to bridge the future with some big naming signings right now, it is impossible to deny that he adds firepower to the team. 54 points would have placed him as the 5th highest scorer on the roster last season and his 19 goals would have put him 4th in goals scored. Throw in 8 points in 11 games in the playoffs, and Jagr can definitely add to the Stars’ top six forwards. GM Joe said he has planned a line of Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, and Jaromir at the top of the roster, and that alone should at least excite fans.
In his three year stint in the KHL recently he posted 145 points in 155 games, so he still has “it” went it comes to skill. Don’t expect massive numbers or 100 points, but putting a highly intelligent and skilled veteran on the wing next to a pair of strong younger forwards could net great results for all three. It could be realistic to see a 50-60 point season out of Jagr if he clicks and takes off with his new teammates. Add in that he brings a world of experience and clutch knowledge that some of the current players have never seen, and he could really rub off and teach the current set of budding stars a few things. And with a history of playoff success and clutch performances, if the new-look Stars can fight their way into a playoff spot, Jagr could be extremely valuable come April and May.