Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images North America
All summer long Twitter has been full of tweets about free agent Jaromir fountain of youth Jagr not signing a contract with any NHL teams. Oilers fans, in particular, have been calling for the club to sign the right winger as we have a bit of a weak spot on that side and it seems like a good fit. Damn, if only Hemsky was still an Oiler, don’t you remember all of those rumours that Jagr was coming here because of their friendship? Sometimes I cant tell if my Twitter feed is going nuts begging for the signing of Johnny Manziel, Colin Kapernick, or Jagr. While all three are big names in sports headlines Jagr is truly the only one of the three who has the stats to back up him earning a contract.
It’s hard to believe that this guy is still playing professional hockey, and at the pace he does, he was drafted into the NHL before I was even born. Last season the 45-year-old played in ALL 82 games and managed 36 points (16G, 30A) averaging 17 minutes a game, although he was only +2 on the season. Oh did I mention only 13 of those points came on the powerplay? His shots on goal actually increased from the season before, he took 143 in 79 games played during the 15/16 season and had 181 last year playing three more games. He had 44 giveaways last season but evened that out with 40 takeaways.
The player is certainly still there in him, but why isn’t he being offered any contracts? This one is out of left field, but Jagr seems to go by the beat of his own drum. Maybe certain teams don’t want that in their dressing room, I know I’ll catch flack for floating that idea. The other thing about Jagr is he doesn’t have anything to prove, he’s not like Iginla who’s chasing a cup, which means Jagr isn’t as likely to take a discount to play on a cup contending team. Last season he had a $4 million salary with a games played bonus that added another $1.5 million, how much do you think he’s looking for this season? Not much less from last year I’m guessing.
This season could be VERY interesting for Jagr. Jagr told NHL.com that he might just play in the Czech Republic with Kladno, the team he owns. He’s also a super popular dude in his country, when I was in the Czech Republic last year one of my guides told me that he is more popular than their president and they love him. This would make him eligible to play in the Olympics, I’d wake up at 2am to watch him destroy unloaded rosters from Canada and the US. Then at the signing deadline, he can control his own destiny. Jagr can sign an NHL with who he feels will be the best fit to win the cup, which would make it all the easier for the team picking him up because they wouldn’t have to give up a pick or anything in a trade. Works out well on both ends eh? Looking at it from an Oilers angle, it gives us time to evaluate how our situation on the right wing is going to work out without sinking valuable cap space into Jagr.
Until something comes together my feed will continue to feature people demanding that Jagr be signed somewhere, mostly saying Edmonton. It will be fun to see watch Jagr’s interesting personality shine through in his tweets, fingers crossed he continues to tweet. Where do you think Jaromir will end up? Do you want to see him take the route of playing at the Olympics and then signing? Shoot me a tweet and let me know @nooorzy.