Few fans knew what to expect when Jagr came on board this summer; the legendary winger had been absent from North American hockey for three full seasons and was pushing 40.
In short order, Jagr proved himself invaluable for two reasons.
First, he could still put up numbers. Paired with rising star Claude Giroux, Jagr found himself with a dynamic forward to help him produce points, and he and Giroux take turns setting one another up.
Despite zero experience playing together prior to this season, Giroux and Jagr seem like a natural pair.
Jagr doesn’t just bring fabulous chemistry, he brings an uncompromising work ethic. Reports indicate that Jagr requested a key to the team’s practice facility so he could work out and improve his abilities at his leisure.
Teammates have supposedly followed his example.
Jagr may not play all 82 games, but if the team loses him for a significant portion of the season, the team's younger skaters may find themselves becoming complacent with their own abilities—something that simply won’t happen when a future Hall of Famer leads the way.