In 1990, the Pittsburgh Penguins used their fifth overall pick to draft a kid from Czechoslovakia. They needed a forward to come in and score goals, and they decided that Jaromir Jagr was the right fit.
Now, almost 11 years after the fan favorite left, the Penguins have the opportunity to resign Mario Jr. Here are five reasons why it is smart for the Penguins to sign Jagr.
Jaromir Jagr played his last game in the NHL at the end of the 2008 season. That year with the Rangers, he scored 25 goals and added 46 assists to finish the season with 71 points. Jagr was 35 years old. That season, Jagr led the Rangers in points and tied Chris Drury for the team leader in goals.
Jagr can clearly still play, even though he is close to 40 years of age. Many NHL stars have proved that they can play this great game even while they are getting up there in age. Great players like Chris Chelios, Keith Tkachuk, Dwayne Roloson, Mike Modano and Teemu Selanne have showed fans all over that they can still not only compete, but have great success despite their age.
Why not take the chance on Jagr?
Jaromir Jagr is one of the greatest right wingers to ever play in the NHL. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are two of the games biggest superstars.
Can you imagine a team with those three players combined?
Other then Pascal Dupuis, the Penguins did not find enough contribution from the other right wingers last season. Jagr can fill that hole.
When next season starts, if he is on the Penguins roster, he will no longer have to worry about being the team captain. He will not have to worry about carrying the team on his back like he has done in the past.
Also, can you imagine the outstanding advice that Jagr could bring to the many young players on the Penguins team? Last season, the Penguins had eight players on the team younger then 25 years old. Advice from the great Jagr could make a huge impact on the Penguins 2011-2012 campaign.
Jagr just wants to play.
He is not going to ask for a ton of money. He will take whatever the Penguins will offer him.
The Penguins could offer him $1 or 2 million to play next season, and both parties would be fine with that. That would be under the Pens' salary cap and an obvious steal for the Penguins organization.
Jagr would sure be an upgrade from Chris Conner's and Craig Adams' performances in the postseason.
Throughout his outstanding career with the Penguins, Jagr was adored by the entire city of Pittsburgh. Jagr brought the first two Stanley Cups to the city, and it was easy to see he was a fan favorite.
Even when Jagr played in the Igloo as an opponent, fans still cheered for their once hometown hero.
With the great success that the Penguins have had in the last three years, Penguin nation has largely grown and everyone knows how much the return of Jagr to Pittsburgh would mean to the organization.
The Consol Energy Center is the newest arena in the NHL. Jagr found great success while playing at Mellon Arena; why not let Jagr work his magic at the Penguins' new home and let the fans witness something even greater then what they have already seen?
Everyone remembers what happened when Michael Jordan returned from retirement to play for the Washington Wizards. The Wizards would sell out all of their games on the road because other team's fans wanted to see MJ play again.
It would be the exact same case for Jaromir Jagr.
The Penguins would not be the only team Jagr would impact. Fans all over the country would fill their home team's arena to personally see the great, and old, Jagr skate once again.