The annual Jaromir Jagr to the Montreal Canadiens rumor mill has begun churning once again. He is arguably the best remaining free agent, but it is yet to be determined if General Manager Marc Bergevin thinks Jagr is a good fit with the Canadiens.
Jagr is 41 years old, and coming off a run to the Stanley Cup Finals, where he recorded 0 goals in 22 games for the Boston Bruins, but the fact remains, he is still an elite talent.
Jaromir signed a one year deal with the Dallas Stars last July and recorded 35 points in 45 games, split between the Stars and Bruins. He returned to the NHL a season prior, on a one year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, and scored 19 goals and 54 points in 73 games, showing he was still effective after a three year KHL stint.
Jagr is a huge winger, who has amassed 1688 points in his NHL career, eighth most in the history of hockey. He uses his 6’3 and 240 pound body to shelter the puck from opposing defenders, buying time for his linemates to get open, before threading the needle with a pass, or driving to the net to create chances for himself.
Jagr is no longer a candidate for Art Ross Trophy’s, even though he has won five as the NHL’s leading scorer, along with a Hart Trophy, but he is still a very useful winger.
Jagr has shown over the years, mostly at Olympic and World Championship Tournaments, an undeniable and uncanny chemistry with current Canadiens center, Tomas Plekanec. The two have played together at several Tournaments, but had their first lengthy stint as teammates during the most recent lockout. The pair suited up for Kladno in their home country of Czech Republic and combined for 103 points in 66 total games, showing their strong showings at short tournaments in the past were no fluke.
Jagr was also given much credit for helping Claude Giroux take his game to the next level, and learn how to be a true professional. He is one of the most likeable teammates in the league, and has plenty of wisdom he could pass down to some of the Canadiens younger players, especially Alex Galchenyuk.
Galchenyuk was of course, the third overall selection a year ago by the Canadiens and stepped directly into the NHL. He was able to show flashes of brilliance, even as one of the youngest players in the league. There are very few individuals who know what it takes to become one of the best players in the world, like Galchenyuk has the potential to be, but Jagr could help guide Galchenyuk on a nearly step by step guide to stardom.
Signing Jagr would create a bit of a logjam amongst the forwards, but Bergevin could easily make room for Jaromir. Considering he could form an excellent line with Plekanec and Galchenyuk, or several other interesting combinations, the possibility has to be considered.
There is enough cap space to bring in Jagr, and assuming he is looking for a one year deal, he is 41 after all, there is hardly any downside to bringing the future Hall of Famer to Montreal.