Jaromir Jagr's Sluggish Play Unhelpful to New York Rangers' Playoff Chances

Christopher CaiazzoCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2008

When Jaromir Jagr came to the New York Rangers in 2003, it felt like an early Christmas present which had the Stanley Cup dancing in our heads.

Now, still with no Cup since his arrival, 36-year-old Jagr is in his final year of his contract, and it probably will be his last year with the Rangers with his recent sluggish play.

With eight games left in the season, Jagr is rotting like an old tomato with his spoiled play on and off the ice. Jagr, our “captain,” only has 18 goals and 42 assist with the blueshirts this season and hasn't been any help to the Rangers’ playoff aspiration.

It's not a good sign when you see a three-time 50-plus goal scorer taking pointers from the rookie, Brandon Dubinsky. Has Jagr given up on himself? I think so. He is slow and lazy on the back check, and complains that he doesn't want to participate in shootouts.

When he does have the puck, he rolls back by the point and waits for his teammates (instead of driving to the net), but, by that time, he already has given up the puck and his linemates now are chasing the opposing team, while Jagr still hasn't even reached the blue line. 

You would figure that in big games, like the one last night where the Rangers defeated the Devils 2-1, would spark Jagr's season, but, no, he was held pointless and was nowhere to be found, like a lost puppy.  

What more can Sather and Renney do to get Jagr rolling? They tried every possible line combination there was, and he still hasn't been able to contribute to his team’s offense.

I'll tell you one thing for sure; you can't say he doesn't have any players to support him.

This year, Glen Sather signed two top-caliber and rather expensive players in Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, to aid Jagr. As the team captain, Jagr needs to find a way to delude himself and get his game (act) back together before the playoffs start.

If he doesn't, it's going to be another soggy off season for the Rangers.

Jagr's confidence is at the lowest point. He just isn't the same player that he used to be, and it seems like he just doesn't care. 

He is just a spectator with skates.

Is it fair to say that it's time for him to hang up his jersey or part ways with the Rangers? Only he can decide that.

But, what I do know is that I do not want to see him with the blueshirts next year.