Did we really think 2017-18 would a Jagr free season? Yesterday the 45-year-old signed a 1-year deal with the Calgary Flames. Although there were concerns about his age, Jagr continually proves his scoring touch. Currently, the Czech winger needs only 57 games to break the all-time appearances record. Calgary will be his ninth stop on a career that has been long and fruitful. With a Hall of Fame induction guaranteed- what does he bring to the Saddledome?
With a Hall of Fame induction guaranteed- what more can he bring to the Saddledome? Having Jagr play in a Flames uniform will sell tickets alone. There is also a good balance that he brings to the lineup. Last season he scored 46 points from 82 regular season games. Rather than slowing down, this guy just keeps on rolling. In terms of age, the closest player to Jagr in years on the Flames is goalie Mike Smith at 35. With nearly two decades on the younger players, you couldn’t pick a better player to learn from.
As a result, having a veteran will mix well the Flames young talent such as Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Calgary is a team that is on the fringe of making a big impact. Could this be the missing link they are looking for? Jagr’s crash and bash style of hockey would be perfectly complemented by the outright talent of Johnny Hockey. Since the beginning of his career, his skill level has never been what kept Jagr in the headlines. However, few players have had such a natural scoring touch. His ability to keep rolling and racking up the points is what makes him one of the real legends of the game.
Second overall in the all-time regular season points list- Jagr was never going to go out with a whimper, though we have to acknowledge the sheer length of time it has taken him to get a deal. Even before July 1 rolled around, it was made clear interest was sparse. During this time, Jagr himself posted a picture on Twitter showing how little interest he was receiving.
FA 1994- all GMs called , FA 2017- 0 calls🏆😀 pic.twitter.com/7uLJm95CAB
— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) June 29, 2017
Calgary has clearly done this deal out of sheer respect. Considering fellow vets Shane Doan and Jarome Iginla called it a day during this offseason due to lack of interest- Jagr no doubt feels very grateful.
Knowing his character and his neverending tenacity- Jagr could probably play till he was 65 and still be great. Yesterday he indicated he was “100 percent certain” this would be his last season. At 45, he is no spring chicken, but his health is the furthest thing from his mind. Anyone who loves this game will want a last year to remember. We can only wonder what his numbers would be now if it weren’t for that 4-year exile with Avangard Omsk in the KHL?
We all owe Calgary a big thank you for this move- let’s hope J.J’s name gets engraved on a cup for the third time.