Jaromir Jagr: How a "Superstar" Can Change the Attitude in the Flyer Locker Room
With all of the departures this offseason for the Philadelphia Flyers, the attitude of the team has probably drastically changed. Gone are team leaders Mike Richards (who wore the "C") and Jeff Carter, who created a completely different atmosphere than the Flyers figure to have this coming season.
To me, this signals that young players such as Claude Giroux and James Van Riemdyk are ready to step up and take care of this team as far as management is concerned.
They both had impressive performances last season and figure to be a part of the long-term plans in Philadelphia. They do not yet know what it takes to win consistently in the playoffs at the NHL level as well as some of the veterans on the team, and therefore will most likely not follow in the footsteps of other young captains such as Crosby, Ovechkin, and Toews.
For the time being, leadership has been left in the capable hands of Chris Pronger, a proven winner who is getting toward his late thirties and is coming off of surgery (for wrist and back problems). He will set the mood during practices and on those important road trips and days off.
I think that one of the biggest challenges that Pronger will have is dealing with Jaromir Jagr, who will probably not want to play on anything but the top line. This problem would arise if Jagr, who has a large ego, was either not working well with others or being outplayed by Voracek or Simmonds, or if he came back from an injury.
If Jagr wants to come back to win the Cup, then Pronger will be able to talk it out with him and convince him to consider another role on the team. If he just wants to cement his great career and prove that he still has what it takes, then the Flyers could be in for a bumpy ride.
Jagr's days with the Rangers saw him doing a fair amount of butting heads, and Pronger is not exactly someone that I would want to butt heads with. If Pronger is looking at a Jaromir Jagr who no longer views himself as a "superstar", then it bodes well for the upcoming year.
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