“The Bruins just landed Jaromir Jagr!”… exclaimed 10 year old me from 1996. At first, I thought we’d traded for a bottle of Jaeger. Then, I hoped that there had just been a misspelling and we’d landed one of Mick Jagger’s illegitimate children. Instead, we got the guy who’d spent 3 seasons hiding overseas in fear of his career going downhill.
Jaromir Jagr does not fit the Bruins mold. The B’s needed a bruiser who could add a scoring touch and locker room presence (like the now despised Jerome Iginla) not a flashy has-been who can’t hit. Growing up, Jagr was the 3rd most maimed player on the street hockey circuit, just behind Ulf Samuelson and Claude Lemieux. My brother and I hated that jerry-curl on skates, with his oversized visor, goofy grin, and gloveless salute. The only time any hockey player should take a glove off is to fight. Period. Now Jaromir the Jerk will wear the Black and Gold (as opposed to the black and yellow). It’s simply unconceivable! Some 15 years ago when he was scoring 50 goals a year, this would have been welcomed with open arms, but now? It smacks of the Jacobs management strategy that leaves a stale taste in your mouth. Bring in a formerly great player whose way past their prime and hope the name recognition alone satiates the fans. Fans here aren’t buying. Not this time.
I fired up
NHL 97 NHL 2012 to see where Junior Mario fits on this team. On the right side along David Krejci and Milan Lucic? That would make Looch a pretty expensive banger, as all he’ll be doing is grinding it out of the corners for the higher skilled guys. Not really sure how Nathan Horton and Rich Peverely will hit it off either. Just more speed and grit in an awkward combo. If the Bruins think to resurrect the Mario Lemieux, Jagr, Kevin Stevens line from the Pens glory days, that ship has sailed. This guy is 41 years old. How much does he have left in the tank? He’s just one Alex Ovechkin away from that great Zamboni ride in the sky. Meanwhile, the Rangers made off with Ryan Clowe for a pretty similar package to the one we spent on Jagr. These guys put up similar numbers… expect Clowe went for 100 PIMs and is 11 years younger!
Now, will Jagr help the Bruins floundering power play? More than likely. He has already picked off 14 goals this year and 6 of them came with the extra man. Can he still score? Of course. But it’s the principal of the thing! My brothers and I hated this guy growing up. We all thought he was the epitome of the girly-man hockey player. And now he’s on our team! There were plenty of other options out there that could have fit this squad. Until we win a Stanley Cup, I don’t care how many Topps 1990 edition rookie cards I have of the guy laying around in my parent’s basement, he’s just a Penguin in a bearskin rug.