The Pros and Cons of Jaromir Jagr's Potential Free Agent Suitors

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
The Pros and Cons of Jaromir Jagr's Potential Free Agent Suitors
Harry How/Getty Images

Jaromir Jagr is a legend.

He's one of the most popular players in the NHL, and he has given hockey fans in six different cities plenty of wonderful memories. But even at age 41, the two-time Stanley Cup champion is not willing to put an end to his Hall of Fame career.

According to an NHL.com report, there are multiple teams considering Jagr as a free-agent signing.

"A long story short, there are more than three teams," agent Petr Svoboda told CanesCountry.com. "Jaromir wants to be sure of the decision that he makes because he was in [Philadelphia], he was in Dallas, then in Boston. He wants to make sure he makes the right decision."

As a quality offensive veteran who has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with young players, Jagr should be a target for several different teams that need to bolster their scoring depth for the 2013-14 season.

Let's assess the pros and cons for each club that should strongly consider pursuing Jagr in the free-agent market.

 

Montreal Canadiens

Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Pro: Upgraded Size/Strength at Forward

Montreal needs to add some size and strength to its forward group, as well as some bottom-six scoring. Jagr, who is 6'3" and 240 pounds, is a player who could satisfy both of these needs.

Pro: Mentor Young Talent, Provide Playoff Experience

The 41-year-old would also help this young Canadiens team in the playoffs. He has 202 games of postseason experience and would be able to teach the young Montreal players what it takes to win important playoff games.

Jagr would also serve as a mentor for the team's young stars such as Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty

Con: Salary Cap Concerns

The Canadiens only have $4,086,667 of salary cap space right now and several important players, including reigning Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban, have expiring contracts going into next season.

General manager Marc Bergevin needs to make sure his club has as much cap space as possible for next season to ensure all of its best free agents are re-signed. This means that if Jagr is looking for a deal longer than a single season, Montreal would be wise to go in a different direction this summer.

Con: Jagr Lacks Speed

The Canadiens play an up-tempo style of hockey that is built on a high level of skill and tremendous speed. While Jagr still has a good amount of playmaking talent, he's not a great skater anymore and his speed is much worse than it was a decade ago.

At age 41, Jagr is not the ideal fit for a young, quick group of Montreal forwards.

 

New York Islanders

Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Pro: Scoring Depth on Wings

This team needs another goal-scoring winger, and Jagr's ability to play in a top-six role or as a third-line forward would give New York head coach Jack Capuano some additional versatility with his lineup.

Jagr tallied an impressive 35 points in 45 games last season between the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins, and he could post 45-60 points in a normal 82-game schedule alongside an elite playmaker of John Tavares' caliber.

Pro: Impact on John Tavares, other Young Islanders Forwards

When the Philadelphia Flyers signed Jagr for the 2011-12 season, he had a great impact on the growth and development of superstar center and current team captain Claude Giroux. The veteran forward could have the same impact on the development of Islanders superstar center John Tavares, who was a Hart Trophy finalist in 2013 and is the top candidate for the team's captain vacancy.

For a young Islanders club that included 16 players who made their playoff debuts last year, adding a former Stanley Cup champion like Jagr would help the team mature and learn how to win. The Isles have only one forward older than 29 (Eric Boulton, 36).

Jagr's great work ethic and passion for the game would also have a positive influence on young forwards such as Frans Nielsen, Michael Grabner, Casey Cizikas, Ryan Strome and Tavares.

Con: Islanders are not Contenders in the Eastern Conference

The Islanders are not a Stanley Cup contender, and there's even a good chance that they won't make the postseason next year. The Eastern Conference is getting stronger with the additions of the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the league's new realignment plan for the 2013-14 season.

Several of the conference's top teams, including the Bruins, Rangers, Leafs, Flyers, Senators and Red Wings have all improved during the offseason.

At this stage of his career, it wouldn't be surprising if Jagr decided to play for a legitimate contender and not a team on the rise such as the Islanders.

 

Carolina Hurricanes

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Pro: Hurricanes Lack Depth on the Wings

Carolina has plenty of skill and depth down the middle, but the same can't be said on the wing, where Alexander Semin, Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu are the only forwards that opposing defensemen should fear. 

Semin was the Hurricanes' only winger who tallied 25 or more points last season (no one scored more than 13 goals on the wing), which highlights the team's need for another playmaker at this position.

Jagr would provide the goal scoring, power-play skill and size that Carolina lacks on the wing. In a division that includes many good goaltenders, the Hurricanes need as much scoring depth as possible.

Con: Carolina's Top Need is a Top-Four Defenseman, not a Winger

Which team is the best fit for Jagr?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Adding another winger with offensive skill would improve the Hurricanes roster, but the No. 1 offseason priority for general manager Jim Rutherford should be to upgrade a blue line that was largely responsible for the team finishing 29th in GAA and 28th in penalty killing last year.

With only $5,435,000 in cap space, Carolina needs to focus the majority of its financial resources on improving the team's most glaring weaknesses, which are a lack of defensive skill and a blueliner capable of excelling in a shutdown role.

 

Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also a credentialed writer at the 2011 and 2013 Stanley Cup Final, as well as the 2013 NHL draft. All salary information via CapGeek.

Load More Stories

Follow B/R on Facebook

NHL

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.