Jaromir Jagr and New Jersey Devils Agree on 1-Year Contract
The New Jersey Devils and veteran forward Jaromir Jagr have reportedly come to an agreement on the terms of a one-year contract, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
OK 30-sec break from vacation. Jaromir Jagr has agreed to one-year deal with Devils. Likely won't be officially announced until Tuesday...— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 22, 2013
Jagr spent the majority of the lockout-shortened 2013 regular season with the Dallas Stars before being traded to the Boston Bruins. The veteran winger amassed 16 goals and 19 assists in 45 regular-season games, but it was his 10 assists in the postseason that made him such a valuable asset for the Bruins during their run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Boston’s decision not to re-sign Jagr was made clear after the season concluded, per Yahoo! Sports, and the free agent had been testing the market and drawing serious interest from the Montreal Canadiens, via Adam Gretz of CBS Sports.
This deal couldn’t have come at a better time for New Jersey, as the franchise continues to contend with the unexpected retirement of star forward Ilya Kovalchuk (now signed with the KHL in Russia, via ESPN).
While it will be hard for the 41-year-old Jagr to make up for Kovalchuk's production—the Russian star had 31 points in 2013 and recorded 75-plus points six times in his career—the veteran has an innate ability to make the players around him better.
Not only will Jagr add an offensive touch of his own, but his ice vision is also elite and will help the younger players on the Devils roster blossom.
This is a smart signing for New Jersey, and on a one-year deal, it comes with very little risk.
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