Why Jaromir Jagr Mathematically Makes Sense for the New York Rangers
Fact: Jaromir Jagr plays his best hockey while sporting a mullet.
Fact: The New York Rangers' offense is weaker than David Spade.
Fact: Jaromir Jagr's contract in the KHL is up this summer.
Fact: The Rangers will have a few million dollars to toy with during the offseason.
It's also no secret around the NHL that Jaromir tends to, well, take shifts off every now and then. So, figure Jagr will disappear once every three shifts. That leaves us with Jagr playing to his level 66 percent of the time.
With that being said, Jagr just celebrated his 38th birthday before the Olympics began. So, age is definitely going to play a factor in this equation. But from the looks of it, Jagr is still dominating at will. Key word: will.
So, let's say for arguments sake, since he isn't a young Czechkin (Ha, get it? Young chicken, he's a Czech...anyway) anymore, he's playing at 90 percent of what normal Jagrness is.
Add all of that together, carry the one, add shampoo, rinse, add conditioner, rinse, towel-dry and style the mullet, tuck in the jersey, divide by x, and what you have is a player that will be better than 99.9 percent of the Rangers' offense.
The only player the 38-year-old Jagr wouldn't trump is, of course, Marian Gaborik.
All of this is stemming from Jagr's notion that he would be possibly, kinda interested in returning to the NHL.
"They treat me so well in Russia, but at the same time, maybe I want to try to play here," said Jagr to the Associated Press.
Jagr also recognizes that he wouldn't have the same role that he is use to having. Much like his role on the Czech Olympic team.
This was one of Jagr's problems in the past; his desire to be the focal point of every aspect of the offense. Hey, who can blame him? When you're Jaromir Jagr and can dominate the game at will, wouldn't you want to be the focal point?
There has only been one person in the NHL that could consistently stop Jagr from doing what he does.
That person is...Jaromir Jagr.
A lot of people like to believe that he dogs it, or doesn't extract 100 percent effort every shift. I think that he's so dominating, that when he does drop to 90 percent, it magnifies so much because he's so noticeable at all times.
Through the two games I've watched for the Czech Republic this Olympics, I can tell you one thing: Jagr still has it.
I was never a huge fan of his when he played for the Rangers, but I didn't dislike him like some Ranger fans did. How you could dislike a man that was the only source of offense and could change a game at will is beyond me.
Now, we all know that Rangers' GM Glen Sather is infatuated with big-name free agents. Well, name's don't get any bigger that Jagr's.
Jagr was earning $7 million, tax free, for the previous two seasons with Omsk Avangard of the KHL.
Jagr knows that if he is going to come back, he can't expect that amount of money.
I think a one-year deal at $4 million, or a two-year, $3.4-6 million contract would be very reasonable for both parties.
Jagr would not only have the familiarity of New York, a place he loved to play in, but he also wouldn't have as much pressure as he did the first time around.
As long as Gaborik is around, Jagr will not be relied on as the only source of offense. Also, Jagr won't have to have the stress of being the captain on his shoulders. All Jagr would have to do is, well, be Jagr.
Adding Jagr to the Rangers lineup does so many things.
For starters, they would have a much more balanced scoring attack. Especially if they could re-sign Vinny Prospal, and Evgeny Grachev is ready to make the jump the NHL.
Guys like Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan won't be relied on to be primary scoring threats, which will allow them to do what they do best. If you don't know what they do best, I suggest you watch the next Team USA game. It's amazing how effective they can be when used correctly.
The powerplay also gets a much needed injection. I do not envy a defense that has to defend Jagr and Gaborik on the powerplay, while sophomore blueliner Michael Del Zotto mans the point.
"I think after the two years I've spent in Russia I can be a better player than I was when I left," said Jagr. "I know that."
Well, if that's true, that's amazing. It's not like he was a bad player when he left. His last season in New York Jagr still had 25 goals and 46 assists. That would be second for the Rangers in goals this season, and first in assists. Not bad for a player that thinks he can do better.
He currently leads Omsk Avangard in goals, assists, and points, so there is no question the man can still play at a high level. Just look at his play thus far in the Olympics.
The question is: Will he return? And for how much? And will the Rangers kick the tires?
When Sather's inevitable big-name equation is added up, Jagr's name should be the only one left on the chalkboard.
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