So if you haven't read Matt Kalman's post over at CBSBoston.com yet, do so before venturing on. A lot of what I'm going to say is going to be a reflection of that piece. Now, don't get this misconstrued in any way. Days of Y'Orr loves Kalman. We love his snarky attitude on Twitter and we think he's a damn good writer, but we don't agree that Jagr would be a good fit on the Bruins.
My first detraction is his age. Jagr will be 41 in February and while age shouldn't be a factor in deciding a one year contract, it will be. Look at what Mark Recchi did for the Bruins in the 2010-2011 playoffs. Keep looking. Now look again. You know what he did? Nothing. It got the point where fans were tweeting, calling up radio shows and writing about Mark Recchi's lack of production and how his lack of speed (or basic horizontal movement) was killing the second line. Just because Jagr performed last year, doesn't mean that will carry over to this season.
And lets talk about that production for a minute. Jagr posted 19 goals and 35 assists (54 points) while playing with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. It took Giroux and Hartnell to have career years for Jagr to edge to the 60 point mark, so would Milan Lucic and David Krejci be able to do the same? I doubt it. Of course, that's purely speculation but I don't think that Krejci is in the same stratosphere as Claude Giroux. Based off last year, I would even say that Scotty Hartnell has eclipsed Milan Lucic as the stereotypical power forward.
I'll wait for that to sink in and then you can tell me how fucking stupid I am in the comments.
After the jump, more anti-Jagr stuff...
I mean, it's cool that Lucic sometimes will fight someone, put someone through the glass or run Ryan Miller down, but let's be serious here for a minute. A power forward is a big forward who can score goals and throw the body around, while policing the ice for his teammates. Does Lucic really do that anymore? Lets look at last year's stats:
Everything is relatively even outside of power play goals and goals scored. This is what Milan Lucic should be, but he's not. He's not even close to 37 goals. This could be an aberration for Hartnell since he's only scored 30 goals one other time in his career, but it took this career year to make Jagr look good.
So with Krejci not even being close to a clone of Claude Giroux and Hartnell/Lucic being a wash, how does Jagr improve the Bruins?
Some may look towards leadership, but isn't that why they re-signed Chris Kelly? People went bat-shit crazy when the possibility of Kelly not coming back to Boston came to light because the Bruins would lose a leader in the locker room. Well, if Kelly's leadership, coupled with guys like Chara and Seidenberg, is so valuable why is it important to disrupt the chemistry by bringing in another leader? One would think that at some point adding all these leaders would lead to some sort of leadership falling out.
It can happen.
It's also a known fact that Jagr is one of the most selfish players in the NHL. It's been written about time after time after time after time. Google "Jagr Selfish" and there's a bevy of articles that come up. Here's a small sample:
Bleacher Report: "In year's past, Jagr was notorious for being lazy on the play and not back-checking to cover his man defensively. That's one of the ultimate selfish moves for a hockey player."
Philadelphia Sports Daily: ″With that guy, you never know,″ Orpik told Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. ″With his personality, I wasn’t shocked that he went to Philly.″ It was a veiled shot at Jagr’s character and reputation for being selfish.
Pens Labyrinth: "There is one thing that will never change about Jaromir Jagr, and that is he is one of the most selfish players in all of Hockey. I understand players have to make as much as they can while they can, but Jagr has taken that to an extreme."
So with all this leadership and chemistry bullshit being thrown around, why would it makes sense to take a guy like Jagr and put him on this team? It doesn't.
One could make a case that Jagr has changed based on one year of play, but a tiger never changes it's stripes. It could be entirely possible that Jagr "played nice" because he was looking to prove himself in the NHL. Who isn't to say that this will happen again? Maybe Jagr signs a nice one year, $4M deal and decides he doesn't really care anymore and Michael Ryder's through the season (see: gliding).
I think the Bruins can spend that $3-4M better than a guy like Jagr. Jarrett Stoll from the Kings is an unrestricted free agent this offseason who could provide some depth for Boston, but his fall off in production from 2010-2011 season to the 2011-2012 season is worrisome.
Oh yeah, there's also this guy by the name of Tuukka Rask that needs a new contract.
You remember him right?
He's only the starting goalie.
Kalman also points out that Jagr would be a good addition for the Bruins power play, which has been abysmal for two seasons now. My issue with the power play isn't necessarily who is on the power play, it's the system itself. The Bruins PP is pretty predictable at this point, especially if you've been paying attention for the past two seasons. The Bruins power play is always the same. Start at the half wall, move it behind the net, move it back to the side wall then to D#1, who passes to D#2, back to D#1 who takes a slap shot and it's blocked.
Until the system is changed, it doesn't matter who is executing it. Also, give Seguin more PP time. 6th overall on the team is a joke, kid should be #3 behind Chara and Seidenberg.