Jaromir Jagr: 5 Reasons Why He Will Help the Philadelphia Flyers
Though some are still in shock and awe of the Philadelphia Flyers' offseason moves, Jaromir Jagr will indeed be playing on Broad Street next season.
Doubters and naysayers alike have criticized not only the move itself, but Jagr's motivations for returning to the NHL.
Make no mistake, general manager Paul Holmgren signed a winner in Jaromir Jagr, a player who is driven to bring a Cup back to Philadelphia. The 39-year-old winger will help in every way possible.
The Flyers Need His Size
Aside from goaltending, the one glaring weakness which hurt the Flyers during their second round exit was lack of size.
A bigger Boston Bruins squad outplayed the Flyers physically. One of the few players to have success against Boston was power forward James van Riemsdyk. Van Riemsdyk was able to create opportunities by skating right through defenders.
Jagr is listed at 240 pounds by NHL.com, a size which will be hard to stop for even the league's biggest defensemen.
Jagr opens up the ability for the Flyers to use battles along the boards as part of a productive offense.
He Can Still Produce Points
When Jagr last played in the NHL in 2008, he scored 25 goals while assisting 46 others, for a total of 71 points in 82 games.
The next season Jagr moved to the KHL and contributed 53 points in 55 games, essentially a point-per-game player. This past season, Jagr was a point-per-game player again with 50 points in 49 games.
If Jagr went from producing more than 70 points in the NHL to producing 50 points in the KHL, and is still at that level of playing ability, there's no reason to believe he is not still a very dangerous scoring threat.
In the 2011 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships, Jagr was among the tournament leaders with nine points in nine games.
Comparatively, NHL players Tomas Plekanec, John Tavares, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jason Spezza and Andrei Kostitsyn tallied 10, 9, 8, 7, and 7 points, respectively.
All of those players contributed more than 40 points last season, with Plekanic, Tavares, Kovalchuk, and Spezza all scoring more than 55.
Jagr is capable of putting up 50+ points in the NHL in 2011-2012.
He Will Improve the Power Play
Despite scoring 259 goals last season (three shy of the NHL lead), the Flyers were in the bottom half of the NHL in power play effectiveness.
Philadelphia ranked 19th in the league with a 16.61 success percentage.
Jagr looks to play on the right side of the Flyers' power play. An experienced playmaker and finisher, the NHL's ninth all-time leading point scorer will certainly improve this weak area of play for Philadelphia.
He Is a Leader
When Jaromir Jagr won his fourth consecutive Art Ross trophy in 2001, James van Riemsdyk was 12 years old. Claude Giroux was 13, Braydon Coburn and Matt Carle were 16. Brayden Schenn was 9 and Wayne Simmonds was 12.
These North American-born Flyers grew up watching Jaromir Jagr compete like a Hall of Famer, and now they will be playing on the same team as him.
No player can help being captured in awe by the "JAGR, 68" uniform hanging in the Philadelphia locker room. When an NHL legend steps up and tells the team to get it going, they will respond.
Jagr is a two-time NHL captain and brings that leadership to the Philadelphia Flyers, improving the squad's veteran presence.
He Wants to Win the Stanley Cup
After Detroit and Pittsburgh pulled out, Jagr signed with the best remaining option for success, the Flyers.
At 39 years old, Jagr is returning to the NHL with a cup-contending team after turning down larger contracts.
Jagr isn't back in North America for the money. At 39 years old, the Jagrmeister wants to hoist hockey's holy grail one more time before calling it quits.