Jaromir Jagr Shines in Philadelphia Flyers Debut

Joe RussomannoCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2011

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 23:  Jaromir Jagr #68 of Czech Republic is pursued by Kaspars Daugavins #16 of Latvia during the ice hockey Men's Play-off qualification match between the Czech Republic and Latvia on day 12 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at UBC Thunderbird Arena on February 23, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

This past offseason debate raged across the Internet and TV about the impact Jaromir Jagr would have with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Although it was only a preseason game, Jagr looked as though he traveled through time to this very moment from his last game as a New York Ranger. He deked defenders and threaded passes with usual touch.

Naysayers had this pegged as the dumbest move made considering the Philadelphia Flyers unloaded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Many writers even said this move would blow up in the faces of the Philadelphia Flyers and Paul Homgren

However, even an aged Jagr displayed talents skeptics have to agree were reminiscent of the mullet-headed Czech who dominated the NHL through two decades.

Fifty-two seconds after James Van Riemsdyk lit the lamp, Jagr added to the Flyers' tally with his first of hopefully many goals.

Yes, this is preseason and the stats mean nothing, but Jagr showed he has the hands and skating ability many thought he lost.

Critics even dared predict Jagr would be a hindrance to younger player development. Instead he created multiple scoring chances and even assisted James Van Riemsdyk's goal earlier in the first period.

For a guy who hasn't played in the NHL for three years, Jagr looked like he hardly missed a beat. The only question that remains now is if he can still handle the grind of an 82-game schedule.

Only time will tell.

After watching that game we all might have to raise our expectations just a little bit. Most analysts objectionably predicted a 50 to 60 point season.

I will keep the bar right where it is as far as my own expectations are concerned. Others, after seeing Jagr still has the moves and hands which made him the active all time scoring leader, will find it hard to resist the Art Ross predictions.