On Tuesday afternoon, the Boston Bruins acquired Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars. The Bruins sent prospects Lane MacDermid and Cody Payne along with a conditional second round pick in 2013 to Dallas for the 41 year-old Czechoslovakian. This will be the sixth team that Jagr has played for in his career; previously playing for Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and the Dallas Stars.
In my opinion, there are three key aspects that Jaromir Jagr will bring to Boston:
1. Experience/Leadership. This season is Jagr’s 20th season in the NHL and is destined for the Hall Of Fame when his career is over. This could be exactly what the Bruins have been looking for. When the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, Mark Recchi (who was also in his 40s) was the veteran leader of that team. He kept the young players disciplined and focused on the task at hand. I think that has been one of the missing puzzle pieces for the Bruins this season. The B’s are missing that voice in the locker room that can get players motivated. As the playoffs near, Jagr certainly hasn’t been a stranger. In his career he has been to the playoffs an incredible sixteen times. He has two Stanley Cups to his name and I am sure he is thirsty for just one more before his career comes to an end.
2. An intelligent offensive mind. Jaromir Jagr will go down as one of the greatest offensive players to play the game of hockey. For his career, he ranks tenth all-time in goals scored with 679 and twelfth all-time in assists with 1,000. As of late, the Bruins have been lacking the offensive firepower that they usually have. Yes, Jagr is much past his prime, but don’t let his age deceive you. This season with Dallas, the 41-year-old has 14 goals 12 assists for 26 points. His 14 goals would tie Brad Marchand for the team lead. He has proved that even though he is older, he can still produce points in the NHL. Jaromir Jagr is another great player on an already deep roster. With questions surrounding the Bruins offensive production lately, Jagr will fit in well and bring another offensive threat to this team.
3. A positive element to the Bruin’s struggling power play. The Bruins power play has struggled for as long as I can remember now. I think the B’s PP was at its best when they had players such as Joe Thornton and Marc Savard. Both of those players had great hockey minds when on the power play. Whether it be setting up teammates or taking the shot when there was an opening, they always made the right play. The Bruins have been missing that kind of player ever since Savard went down with his concussion injuries. For me, the new person that is going to run the power play has to be Jagr. In his career on the power play, he has tallied 195 goals and 360 assists. I think that he will be able to set up nicely in “Gretzky’s office”, as Bruins’ commentator Jack Edwards always says, and will be able to find open players to create the best opportunities possible. Or he can even set up nicely on the half wall. There is no doubt in my mind that Jagr will improve the Bruins power play.
Jagr will wear #68 for Boston and his likely debut will be on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils. Whether he is here until the end of the year, or an extended period of time, I think this is a great move for the Boston Bruins as they chase their seventh Stanley Cup.