Why the Rangers should sign Jaromir Jagr

August 12, 2017, by

Photo Credit: Ken Goldfield/NY Daily News

It’s August, which means the hockey world is beginning to gear up for the preseason in hot anticipation of their new rosters. One mystery that still hangs in the air like an Islanders fan yapping about how their fourth line is the best in hockey remains however: Jaromir Jagr is unsigned. It’s a truly bizarre thing, and although there may be a few reasons teams are hesitant to sign him there are also plenty of good reasons for a team like the Rangers to add the living legend to their roster.

Let’s get it out of the way right now – no he is not going to score as many goals as he did his last go around with the Rangers. Last season he put up 8 goals and 25 assists at even strength, with an additional 8 goals and 5 assists coming on the powerplay. That’s still a pretty respectable total for a player his age however, and there’s no doubt that he’d be playing in a depth role on the third or fourth line were he to return to NY. So while he won’t be quite as magic as he was during his first tenure with the Rangers, he won’t have to be and could still put up some solid points anyway.

What’s more noteworthy is the way that he still drives possession. Last season with Florida he had a 55.08 CF% at even strength, with a 6.47% CF relative to his team mates. So not only does he help his team get more shots generally while he’s on the ice, but compared to the rest of the Panthers last year he was significantly better than most. Playing on the third or fourth line with linemates like Michael Grabner, Jimmy Vesey, or even potentially Lias Andersson (sorry folks, just had to bring him up – I’m stoked) even if he’s not getting goals or assists himself he most certainly could help those guys with better speed and finishing ability to put points on the board.

He could also be a welcome addition on the man advantage, helping to set up shooters like Mika Zibanejad, or getting the puck to the net for guys like Rick Nash or Chris Kreider to work their magic with. His vision and hockey IQ haven’t gotten any older, only his body has, so he could definitely make the revamped powerplay even better.

Now there’s probably a couple of reasons he’s still unsigned. The first is that he’s likely asking just a little bit more money than teams are willing to pay for a guy his age, and let’s face it, even if he is good he’s just not young. Teams are looking to add youth and Jagr doesn’t fit that mold, and although he as of yet hasn’t been hit by the aging curve do you really want to be the unlucky team that finds out when he does fall off a cliff?

We can all remember how MSL tore it up in his first year as a Ranger and then dropped off significantly in performance the next – sometimes guys have it, and then lose it. He’s also just not fast, and while teams are always looking to add skill in particular they want skill that skates. This wouldn’t be a great thing for the Rangers, but he’s still clearly an effective setup man.

Overall, it would be a depth move that the Rangers make in order to free up some space to maybe trade a winger for a center. It wouldn’t supercharge out offense, but it would offer some options on the bottom six and the powerplay. The other, more important thing to consider when considering the merits of signing Jagr is this: it would be cool as hell for him to retire a Ranger.

"Why the Rangers should sign Jaromir Jagr", 2 out of 5 based on 18 ratings.
Categories : Offseason


  1. Mancunian Candidate says:

    Nope. Too slow, too expensive, too defensively indifferent. While he’s still productive to a certain degree the teams he’s been on in the past 4-5 seasons haven’t been serious contenders. He’s been overmatched in the playoffs too the last couple times his teams made it.

    From a sentimental standpoint this is a worthy idea. From a realistic standpoint, not so much.

    • AWDS says:

      When it comes to Jagr, the majority of you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Sadly, were he to sign (at a reasonable cost), despite his age, Jagr would be our best forward not named Chris or Mats.

      Check the HERO charts out…. I suspect a lot of you who do will be quite surprised….

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        Sure, a lumbering, defensively poor bottom 6 forward is exactly what an uptempo skating team like NYR needs. NYR could really use another guy who piles up points in the first 50 games, and then fades down the stretch and in the playoffs too.

        • AWDS says:

          “defensively poor”

          That’s a (blatantly false) narrative. I honestly don’t know where you’re pulling that from. Perhaps you could elaborate?

          The ‘fading down the stretch’ bit, however, isn’t entirely off base; you do have a decent point there.

          Part of that problem is related to (IMO) him having played in so many games last year; IIRC, he didn’t miss a single one.

          … But that’s an easily fixable problem; don’t play him in more than 50 games, manage his ice time, and save him for the postseason.

          Jagr is a fitness maniac. He’s in better shape than probably 80% of the league; 100% if you account for his age. We could use a guy with that kind of work ethic on this team… especially one that can still play (albeit in a somewhat limited capacity).

          • Rich S says:

            I am with you AWD……..great example for the young guys…..great on the power play…….a huge body…..hard to knock off the puck ……….and they laughed at me when I said sign the russian!!!!!

            • AWDS says:

              Thanks Rich…. I find it insane that some people would rather ‘train’ another low end fourth liner than allow a hands-down, top 10 all time great on the team (who still can play)…

              • Rich S says:

                The more I think of it the more I am convinced Jagr would be a perfect fit. One of the most respected players in the league who put up 16 goals and 46 points on a poor team. What would his numbers be on a line with a couple of skilled, fast , impressionable young players. Like you mentioned a fitness fanatic, what better player to teach and model professional standards and behavior.
                And boy would he help our power play. We have enough rookies and 2nd and 3rd year players, this legend belongs here and at a discount….wow. Sign me up.

          • Mancunian Candidate says:

            It’s not a false narrative–the guy didn’t backcheck when he was here 12 years ago, when he could still skate. Jagr made little effort to play D then and currently due to lack of footspeed is laughably ineffective defensively. I don’t care what his possession numbers are, he’s a half-ice player whose need to be defensively sheltered makes him a poor choice as a bottom 6 forward. I don’t care what kind of workout regimen the guy has, he’s 46 and cannot skate anymore. He’s literally the antithesis of everything the Rangers are trying to shape themselves into.

            Also Jagr is Czech not Russian.

            • AWDS says:

              If he were so ‘laughably ineffective’, perhaps you could explain why HERO charts, GAR, etc paint him in a much different light?

              Using your logic, we have at least 10 other ‘laughably ineffective’ forwards….

              Did I mention he drew top QoC while in FLA…? He wasn’t sheltered. At all.

              You might not care about things like workout regimens… but to me it’s pretty obvious that is what separates Jagr from guys today like Hayes.

              • Mancunian Candidate says:

                Where have Jagr’s teams finished since he’s returned to the NHL? They’ve achieved very little in terms of postseason success, and they’ve finished either out of the playoffs entirely or been knocked out quickly when they’ve made it. He’s not much more than a sideshow attraction now. Let a bottom-tier team take him on, he’s not a player the Rangers should sign if they’re serious about contending this year.

              • AWDS says:

                Where Jagr’s teams have finished is irrelevant to whether or not he’d make a good addition.

                Using your logic, Ryan Reaves is a good hockey player because he’s on PIT now (and previously played for STL – another consistently good team).

                Again, you’ve offered nothing to refute the fact he is, statistically speaking, still a great hockey player.

              • Mancunian Candidate says:

                You are making a massive assumption about how I think here. I’m saying Jagr isn’t needed by this Rangers team at this point in time. I’m not saying anything other than this: he can’t skate. He is a terrible defensive hockey player and always has been. The fact that you claim otherwise (backed up by mentioning various possession stats, without mentioning the numbers themselves) is disingenuous at best or proof that you don’t watch the man play. Of course he’s still offensively productive; but what he offers the Rangers already have, and what he lacks in terms of speed/defensive zeal can actually be damaging to a team playing the Rangers’ system.

                The fact that I correlated Jagr’s membership on 2nd tier teams to a lack of playoff success doesn’t mean I think Ryan Reaves is a good hockey player. That’s an asinine remark. Gordie Howe’s Whalers team had room for a 52-year old legend with a connection to the NHL and WHA because their roster was terrible. That’s certainly not the case with the Rangers and Jagr. Sentimental connections between a player and a franchise shouldn’t mean anything in a GM’s eyes, unless the team is of poor quality, attendance is declining, and a gimmick is needed.

                Lastly, your argument for Jagr’s presence on this team has repeatedly ignored my contention that he simply does not fit the Rangers’ style under Vigneault. He just doesn’t skate enough anymore. A slower offensive system like the Devils or Panthers has played to Jagr’s strengths. The inflexibility of Vigneault and his uptempo system wouldn’t put Jagr in a position to succeed.

              • AWDS says:

                “The fact that I correlated Jagr’s membership on 2nd tier teams to a lack of playoff success doesn’t mean I think Ryan Reaves is a good hockey player. That’s an asinine remark. Gordie Howe’s Whalers team had room for a 52-year old legend with a connection to the NHL and WHA because their roster was terrible.”

                By correlating Jagr’s presence to the playoff status of the team he was, you’re implying that faulty teams don’t have good players. The Reaves thing is the reverse of that; that good/great teams don’t have bad ones.

                Now, perhaps it was a bit of a stretch on my part to make the Reaves comment (OK, a giant one), but even you must admit your previous post (regarding FLA’s playoff situation) is off base; it’s not Jagr’s fault FLA faltered – he wasn’t brought in to carry the team.

                Now, you do have a point about his speed not working well with AV’s system. However, as I’ve sort of implied by keeping this argument up, I think Jagr still possesses the talent to make up for said deficiencies.

                Do we necessarily need more scoring (as opposed to the speedy defender type you mentioned)? I don’t know, but personally, I’d rather have the legend over the guy no one will remember…. provided the legend is worth remembering, of course. Besides, shunning extra offense reeks of the ‘Timely Saves’ brand of fuzzy AV logic.

                Also, I think it’s funny you bring up Howe, because that’s who (in some ways) Jagr reminds me of.

        • Richter1994 says:

          Jagr would be 3rd line, drive possession, and excel on the PP to make it even better with Shatty and Zib on it. That would be Jagr’s role on this team.

          They won’t be signing him for his defense. If you possess the puck, then that is your best defensive strategy.

          I’m not saying it to you directly, but fans that comment about players’ defensive shortcomings are the same ones that say G and Staal are “still serviceable D men.” The height of hypocrisy.

          • Rich S says:

            Great point Richter,
            ‘If you possess the puck, the other team cant score.’
            And surrounded by all that speed, he would be a perfect fit.
            Real hard to get the puck from the 230 lb wrecking ball with hall of fame skills.

            • Richter1994 says:

              I get the “speed” thing Rich, and I generally agree with it. But you’re talking about a guy that can still play.

              This isn’t a guy who can’t skate anymore. And he’s smart enough to know he isn’t what he was and will compensate accordingly. Jagr would help the PP tremendously, IMO.

      • SamNY says:

        I was going to say. He’d be great. His skill set was never contigent on speed. As a depth forward on the 3rd or 4th line, he’d make that line deadly.

        The 2nd move would then likely a trade of Miller. But trading “Tony’s son” would make him have a heart attack!

        It’s basically, what could you get back for say….. Miller, Holden, Graves. If its Bozak and a 1st round pick…..I think that could work.

        • Richter1994 says:

          #1. Why are you trading Miller?
          #2. If you’re trading Miller then get out of here!! 🙂

    • bernmeister says:

      ^ says it all

    • Justice says:

      I’d rather Vanek or Parenteu if we’re going for a wing. But at centre, i’d rather Bozak or even Winnik

  2. Brett says:

    AV wants speedy, two-way players, which is not Jagr. Therefore there is literally no logic to bringing Jagr in, no matter how awesome it would be.

    You can pretty much guarantee that Gorton is going to continue to sit on that cap space in an effort to fit in a center via trade. I have little doubt that he will find that center at some point.

    • Rich S says:

      You mean like Tanner Glass? AV doesn’t know what he wants …..Who doesnt want to root for a hockey legend!

      • SamNY says:

        Yeah this. AV is borderline clueless so by removing all bad choices, you create a win win scenario.

        Jagr on a 4th line would be crazy.

      • Richter1994 says:

        LOL, right Rich!! The coach wants “up tempo” but then loves his “stiffs” like Glass, G, and Staal because he “trusts” them.

        But then would not want one of the greatest all time NHL players who can still score. Laughable.

  3. Mintgecko says:

    Let’s say they do sign him then what? Right now I don’t see how Buch 1and especially Vesey could see any PP time. I would rather give u the dimension that Grabnber brings to the team for a guy like Rousell from the Dallas Stars than to sign Jagr, sorry but he’s not the missing link to this team, the Yotes better sign him.

  4. 43 says:

    I said a few threads ago that I was surprised Jagr was still unsigned. That said, I don’t see where he fits in on this team. On the 4th line in place of Puempel?

  5. Jerry says:


  6. Bloomer says:

    The Rangers could use some young energy forwards who can grid not a player who qualifies for old age security. Jagr has had a remarkable hockey career but its time to call it a day.

  7. Mikeyyy says:

    Sign him up. One year adds depth. Gives the young guys a workout horse as an example. Not for the point production but the leadership.

  8. Chuck A says:

    It’s August…Jagr, straight up for McD.

  9. Peter says:

    That Jagr is still able to lace them up at his age is remarkable. So is anyone seriously arguing that the Rangers should sign him. At his age and skill level at this stage of his career he has very little he can add in the Rangers system. He’d be taking a roster spot that should be occupied by a young and upcoming player. No thanks.

  10. HOF 19 says:

    Its OK with this article because I know you CAN’T BE SERIOUS…….good joke .

  11. JAKE says:

    This would be a sexy and big time move around the nhl world if Jagr made a return to the NYR! i welcome this mkve with beyond open arms! And pray it happens! So many positives to outweigh negatives in bringing him back to the team!

  12. Peter says:

    Jagr is a legend but he would seem to be the antithesis of Gorton’s approach if I read him correctly. If I am right, then I doubt that he is even considering signing Jaromir.

  13. Pas44 says:

    I feel JG would have made this happen already if it was smoothing he felt would improve the club. His decisions have shown he doesn’t waste money. And would Jagr want to come back to this club?

  14. Richter1994 says:

    You don’t have to convince me Pat. But maybe, just maybe, the Rangers have other plans. Maybe Jagr is a back up plan.

    I’m hearing that the Rangers are in on the Alex Kerfoot situation. He is a UFA unsigned pick on August 15 (Tuesday). I’m not hearing that the Rangers will sign him but I am hearing that the Rangers are all over this with the idea that Kerfoot play 3rd line C, dropping DD to 4th line.

    I’m also hearing that the Rangers still really want Bozak but there is a stalemate there as to what they would give up for him.

  15. CTFan says:

    And, also sign Mark Messier and Adam Graves. Gretzky. Brian Leetch.

  16. Blue Seat says:

    You have NHL ready young forwards that need ice time in different situations, to mature as players. Including some that have played the last year or two or three. Don’t waste away that regular strength or special team ice time, growing pains and all. BThe Rangers are at a pivitol time, let the young players play and get the experience they need, now is no time to limit their playing time for short term gain. Not a good idea. Sounds like a Sather move.

    • AWDS says:

      Err…. not for anything, but …. if the ‘NHL ready young talent’ you’re citing (whomever that may be, lol)….. if they can’t outplay a 46 year old in training camp…. perhaps we could then thus say that they weren’t ‘NHL ready young talent’?

      No, Sather was more fond of signing guys who were old but belonged in a retirement home.

      Jagr is in better shape than (probably) anyone reading this blog.

      • Rich S says:

        Spot on comment, ”if they can’t outplay a 46 year old in training camp”….you are on fire today!
        I dont want a lineup with 10 —2nd, 3rd, or 4th year players unless they outplay jagr and the other vets…..and win the job…..
        Sign him contingent on him making the club and give him a fair shot….what do we have to lose…

      • Blue Seat says:

        So your suggesting waiting to see how the young talent do in training camp. Ok, for some like Andersson and Gettinger that’s true. For others, like Buchnevich and Vesey, why not give them quality opportunity once the season starts, instead of signing an aged Jair?

        • AWDS says:

          If our forward lines were some mix of the following…

          Kreider Zib Buchnevich
          Nash Miller Zuc
          Grabner Hayes Vesey
          Jagr Andersson Fast
          Puempel DD Someone

          How would Jagr affect players like Vesey or Buch? By ‘stealing’ PP time away from players who can’t score on it?

          Our powerplay sucks, and if Jagr could improve that…. well, why wouldn’t you want more goals?

          For those who might say he’d grab the spot of [one of our marginal prospects here], I’d repeat what I said before – if they couldn’t outplay ‘old man Jagr’, then maybe they needed more seasoning!

  17. Jeff P says:

    I would love to see Jagr tutor Chytil who is not quite 1/3 his age.

  18. craig says:

    We need a skilled speedy centerman. Shatty and DeAngelo will help the PP a lot. If we get Jagr very cheap for a year, maybe, but is he worth it for 40 points? Doesn’t seem like the direction the Rangers want to go in.

  19. Hatrick Swayze says:

    1 year, 1 million. Sure, give him a go on a PTO. Nothing that will eat cap hit, should he end up outside of our top 12, though.

  20. Ranger Fan For Life says:

    No to Jagr. I’d rather bring up a young energetic and most important hungry forward to learn as he plays in the NHL.

  21. Blue Seat says:

    It’s strange that Ranger fans who have seen their young players’ progress interupted with “pro ven” veterans being played ahead of them. And, still find a way of repeating the foolish managing of players. Once Jagr is on the team, you will see him moving up in the lineup when the young players show growing pains.