Pittsburgh Penguins: Should They Have Overpaid for Jaromir Jagr?

Andre KhatchaturianCorrespondent IIIMarch 31, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on March 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defetaed the Capitals 2-1 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins get ready to face off against their hated rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, twice in the last four games of the regular season.

The way the playoff matchups are set up, the Pens and Flyers will most likely square off for another seven games between the two teams.

How sweet would it be for Jaromir Jagr to lead his new team to victory against the team he became famous with that refused to overpay to sign him this past summer?

Which leads one to think, with Sidney Crosby out most of the year, could the Penguins have won the division had they signed Jagr? 

Jagr has 18 goals and 52 points with the Flyers, and he's missed 10 regular-season games. He has shown he still has it this year. Also, he loves playing against Pittsburgh. He's scored three goals against his former team in four games, and who knows what he has in store for the last two games and playoffs?

The Flyers are a solid offensive team with 251 goals on the season and it's been a conducive environment for No. 68. Pittsburgh might've been an even better situation for Jagr, considering all the stars they have on that team. 

He would've most likely been playing with James Neal and Evgeni Malkin. There's no doubt he would've been able to replicate his scoring numbers with the Pens. 

Although Steve Sullivan has been an awesome alternative for Pittsburgh, scoring 15 goals and 31 assists, there's no doubt that Jagr is the better player.

He would've had more scoring opportunities skating with Geno and Jordan Staal. And now with Crosby back, this team would be even more explosive.

With Jagr due for free agency once again this summer, the Pens would be wise to give him another shot—there is no reason why they shouldn't consider bringing him back.

There were questions heading into this season whether Jagr would be able to play a full season at the NHL level. He hadn't been in the league for several years and, it goes without saying, the Russian KHL is not on the same level as the NHL.

Jagr, however, has shown that he's barely missed a step. Sure, he's not leading the league in scoring, but he's 40 years old and he's providing positive offensive contributions for a playoff team. Only guys like Nicklas Lidstrom and Teemu Selanne can say the same.

Also, speaking of Lidstrom and Selanne, they're playing at a high level well past their 40s. Why can't Jaromir? 

He's showing that he's good for another two or three years and that it doesn't matter how old you are. If you play with Sid and Geno, you're going to put up fantastic numbers. 

Plus, he'll still be able to repair his legacy with Pittsburgh fans, as he tarnished it to a great extent this by signing with the rival Flyers. 

Jagr has shown that signing him won't be just a PR move for teams. 

The dude can play, and he's going to be around for a little while more.