NHL Free Agency 2012: Jaromir Jagr Leaving Is Good for the Philadelphia Flyers

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NHL Free Agency 2012: Jaromir Jagr Leaving Is Good for the Philadelphia Flyers
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

NHL Free Agency 2012 is, as of Tuesday night, still waiting on the big stars to sign.

Ryan Suter and Zach Parise have yet to pick what team they'll play for, and as such they've been holding up free agency because teams are waiting to sign them before signing anyone else.

But former Philadelphia Flyer Jaromir Jagr apparently didn't want to wait, as he has come to terms with the Dallas Stars on a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

For Flyers fans, this means that Jagr won't be back next year.

And that's good news.

Jagr had a productive season last year, scoring 54 points in 73 games. His workout routine became legend in Philadelphia, and his influence on Claude Giroux can be credited with an assist for Giroux's breakout year.

Jagr did his job last year; he helped out the powerplay and was a positive influence on the younger players. 

Until the postseason came around and Jagr was exposed by the New Jersey Devils as being a defensive weak point. 

Jagr is old at 40 years of age, and he's been playing pro hockey a very long time. That showed in the playoffs, as he looked slow and ineffective.

He ended the postseason with a plus/minus of minus-five, and he was absolutely useless in the defensive zone when the Devils utilized an aggressive forecheck. 

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jagr can still be effective in the NHL as a powerplay specialist who doesn't see much ice-time outside of that, but that's not what he wants.

He wants to be a top-six forward, and that role shouldn't have been his this year for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers have tons of young forwards who need more ice time, such as Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek, and Jagr was eating into their minutes. That's fine for a season as he helps them develop, but if they aren't ready to step up this season, they never will be.

All of that said, I'd have been happy to see Jagr return to the Flyers for a manageable salary, but $4.5 million is about $2.5 million away from what I'd consider manageable. 

That's the money Jagr got, and I have a hard time believing he would even consider giving the Flyers a discount given the way he's conducted his free agency in the past.

$4.5 million for a 40-year-old powerplay specialist is way too pricey for the Flyers.

The Flyers need that cap room right now, especially if they're going to sign a big name free agent or make a blockbuster trade for a guy like Bobby Ryan.

Jaromir Jagr playing for the Philadelphia Flyers was great last year, as it was awesome to see a former rival put on the orange and black and help develop the Flyers their very own superstar in Giroux.

But the future hall-of-famer is moving on, and Flyers fans should be thankful that he is.

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