Jaromir Jagr is a Philadelphia Flyer. It almost does not make sense. For years he was seen as the antithesis to what made a suitable candidate to wear orange and black.
Jagr has always been supremely talented, no doubt, but the curly mullet, his graceful effortlessness and generally aloof personality prompted barbs from Flyers fans across the city.
Having won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins before finishing his career with the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers did not do much to endear Jagr to the City of Brotherly Love, either.
It is now 2011. The fresh-faced, long-haired kid whose image on the scoreboard would prompt Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady" to play throughout the old Spectrum is now a 39-year-old grizzled veteran returning to the National Hockey League after a three year hiatus.
Jagr's return was long-rumored, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens were all reportedly attempting to add Jagr's services, which include 1599 points in 1273 career NHL regular season games.
But it was the "mystery team" that won the Jagr sweepstakes, very similar to the way the Philadelphia Phillies signed Cliff Lee and the Eagles signed Nnmadi Asomugha.
Now, much like the other teams in the city, the expectations for the Flyers and their newly signed superstar are beyond high.
Jagr has spoken on being in great shape and not wanting to let anybody down. The former Art Ross and Hart Memorial Trophy winner is motivated to elevate this revamped Flyers team to Stanley Cup Champion for the first time in 36 LONG seasons.
That is my prediction, at least, and here is why I believe Jagr is the man to make it happen.
As always, comments are welcomed and appreciated, so let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and enjoy!