Irresponsible Rumormongering

Trade deadline target: Jaromir Jagr

This post is complete speculation and is not intended to infer that the Rangers have seriously considered Jagr or that any negotiations are underway.

In the wee hours of Thursday morning, Penguins GM Ray Shero was able to snatch Jerome Iginla out from under the Boston Bruins.  This acquisition made the Pens incredibly formidable on paper, and took the top RW available off the market.  For this post, however, I want to focus on another right winger, who could have a serious impact on the playoff races this season.  I think the Rangers should bring (back) Jaromir Jagr.

I know that there will be quite a few questions about the recently re-signed Mats Zuccarello, since they will have ostensibly have been brought in for the same purpose.  However, I don’t believe (with all due respect to Zucc) that the Rangers should let his arrival impede a possible pursuit of Jagr.  While Zuccarello is a nice little player, he has something of a spotty track record of NHL success.  Nothing should be guaranteed to him, and anything that will improve the current squad should be considered.

Corsi Rel QoC 0.159
Corsi QoC -0.544
Corsi Relative 13.0
OZone Start % 54.2

With a quick reference to, and an assist from Dave, we get a good look at Jagr’s advanced metrics.  He is still a quality puck possession player, and still slightly above average considering the quality of competition faced. He currently isn’t facing top competition, but he wouldn’t be in New York, either.  Unsurprisingly, he gets more of his starts (after the whistle) in the offensive zone.

From a counting stat perspective, he is averaging a little over 18 minutes of ice time per game.  His point totals are still solid, with 14 goals and 11 assists  (25pts) in 31 games so far this season, 6 of which have come on the power play.  The only concerning stat there is his shooting percentage, 17.3%, which is a little over 3% higher than his 14% career average and by far his highest since his monster ’05-’06 season. (NHL seasons, that is).  While the percentage is off, it’s not outlandishly so.  For instance, Patrick Berglund in St. Louis is scoring at a 28% clip, far above his career average of 13% and double his career high of 14.1%.

From a team fit perspective, Jags could play a role in the top-6, or as a bottom-6 player with a heavy power play focus.  He’s familiar with the organization and the expectations of New York.  By now we have all heard about Jagr’s freakish work ethic, not to mention the mentoring benefits some of the younger guys would get from having him around.

As far as cap space goes, it’s a little bit of a squeeze.  Capgeek leads me to believe he would currently fit, but although Zuccarello is listed, I’m not sure if his $700,000 contract is factored in yet.  Might have to move a body to facilitate Jagr’s $4.5m cap hit.

For a team that is light on scoring and less than impressive on the PP, to me, Jags is a no-brainer.  The guy still has quite a bit left in the tank, and in addition to his puck possession and power play prowess, he’s a veteran guy who knows the org with a Stanley Cup pedigree.  Adding some quality depth for the stretch run while beefing up the power play is never a bad idea and, depending on the cost, I’d take a long look at a reunion with #68. What do you guys think?

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    • There isn’t much that can be said about Richards that hasn’t been said already. His lack of production is perplexing.

      That said, the Rangers have one of the best second line centers (Stepan) in the league right now. Going back to my point below, they cannot address Richards/Gaborik production via trade.

  • Jagr will help and Bloomer is right we also need a good Center as well and finally a good mobile defenseman as well. All 3 could be had relatively cheaply by the trade deadline.

  • Seriously? Your solution is to bring in another aging goal scorer? Look, I would do the Nash Trade 10 times over, but the Rangers problem is they lost the heart and soul players: Dubinski, Prust, Fedotenko, just to name a few.

    There is a reason that Brian Boyle is a shell of the player he was last year, no Brandon Prust. There is a reason this team went from first to 26th in fighting majors.

    Remember that time Dubinsky threw the Gatorade cooler in Ottawa? The only person on this team how shows anywhere near that level of passion is Lundqvist.

    The Rangers let to many players who literally bled blue walk away. This team is looking like Rangers team of the early 2000s that consistently missed the playoffs. Its only fitting you would call for the return of an even older version of the face of the franchise then.

    • Ok, so let’s ignore all the statistics and hard facts about team construction, areas of need, and current team deficiencies and assume we need more “heart and soul guys”? Based on what? That last year’s team was fun to watch and overachieved?

      Will can only take you so far, at some point you need some talent to back it up. The Rangers aren’t getting any bottom-6 production and have deficiencies on the power play, so let’s definitely summarily reject the possibility of bringing in a player with goal scoring and power play skills.

      You really want Dubinsky back at $4.2m? I’m sure Columbus would drive him here themselves.

      • The Dubinsky argument has the same end result as the Prust argument. There’s a cost-benefit factor in here that most are ignoring.

      • Last year’s team did not overachieve — it was a good team. This year’s team is not. The Nash deal was good, I think, but it was not a steal, we gave up real value, and there were other changes, basically all hurting the club.
        The last thing the Rangers need a rental right wing. As it is, they shouldn’t even suit Gaborik.

        • Stats say they did. Their PDO (basically puck luck, it’s on ice shooting percentage plus on ice save percentage) was around 1010 or so. League average is about 1000, and this year they are in the lower 990s.

          • Dave, how does this work? If you just add those numbers, it seems to reflect skill. The better the goalie, the higher the save percentage and we have a good one. Shooting percentage is dicier to assess. yet, while the best players need not have the highest shooting percentages, individual shooting percentages are far from random.

    • The bottom six players have less goals than I have fingers. They need scoring depth. This league is becoming a three-line scoring league, with a fourth line of defense/toughness.

  • Sounds good. Maybe a Jagr + draft pick(s) for Gaborik. Rangers would save around $3 millon in case they want to trade for a defensemen. I have a feeling that they probably wont do much. Maybe a John Scott/Eric Reitz/Dan Fritsche types of players. Maybe try to find a 13th forward that can play on the bottom 6. Or move Boyle for someine cheaper. Maybe trade Randy McNaught if the Rangers still have his rights.

    • Dallas is currently looking to accumulate picks/prospects (see Morrow for Morrow) and shed cap rather than give away youth and accumulate a 7 mil cap hit through next yr.

      Unfortunately what your proposing isn’t in line with the focus of that organization.

  • Right – we’ll bring in Jagr so Torts can get all disgusted with his defense and 3rd line, 4th line and finally bench him.

    There’s not a single offense first player that will work in a system that values blocking shots more than assists.

    Besides – Jagr is a possession type offensive player who would absolutely abhor Torts “dump and chase” 1920’s style hockey.

    Dump the coach, bring back Keanan, and then Jagr would be a perfect fit. But most certainly NOT with this coach.

  • I keep reading that the Rangers problems are that they aren’t getting production from the bottom 6. Its not the role of the bottom 6 to score, their role is to shut down the others team big guns. Our big guns with the exception of Nash and Stephan are doing dilly squat. Stop coddling Gabby and Richards they are playing like crap. Send them on their way and dump their bloated contracts.

    • No problem will ever be solved if Gaborik and Richards aren’t producing, that we know. That is a problem that cannot be fixed by an acquisition.

      But there is a separate problem that has to do with the bottom six not producing. This is a league were you at least need your third line to score.

  • You aren’t going to win much when you have one of the leagues most inept power plays. The 3rd or 4th liners don’t run the powerplay they are typically sent out for the penalty kill. The fans are so enamored with big names on jerseys that they can’t see why this franchise underachieves. Hockey is all about team chemistry and different players having different roles, its not friggin baseball where you field a team of superstars and get instance results.

  • I’d love to see Jagr back in Blue, but I don’t think he is the answer to the problem either. We all know they are not producing, but why are they not producing? What I see, repeatedly, is players on the perimeter, with the puck on their stick, without anyone in a position to score to pass it to. There’s never anybody in front of the net, or breaking for the net. It’s the same issue Lundquist mentioned a week ago. We win the battle below the hash marks, we win the battle on the boards, then…nothing.

  • Just because they are far from leading the league in blocked shots doesn’t mean they are not stressing it as a defensive mentality. It just means they are not succeeding at what the system is designed to do.

    Is there any question that this system is failing to work as designed?!?!?!????

    • If the players fail to execute a system, does that mean the system is poorly designed? Lots of teams use a 2-1-2/low zone collapse. System works for them.

  • The Jagr ship sailed a Long time ago!! Look, the team has looked disjointed all year long. It might just be that they never will get their bearings in this weird, shortened season. I think that they should start concentrating on the future. Any deadline deals should be made with next year and beyond in mind. I think enough games have been played to realize that this team just isn’t good enough. Doesn’t mean you need to blow it all up; but some changes need to be made. They look way too soft in front of their net. They need a bona-fide #1 center who can get the puck to Nash on a consistent basis. They might even need to re-examine the coaching staff and the style of play. Whatever, it is not gonna’ make too much of a difference this year. Plan for next year, and beyond; and chalk this season up as a blip on the radar to the development of the team.

  • Jagr is old hat, history, a retread that we don’t need. Please don’t go back to getting over the hill players, who leave their wheel chairs just off of the ice surface. This year has been a major bust, and there isn’t much anyone can do to generate a pulse from this team. Jagr is like jello, way too soft, last thing we need is him hitting you with his purse!

    This year we should look to see what, if anything we can get in the way of draft picks, and dump at the dead line. Buy out Richards, trade off Gabby, and start anew with kids. At least they use their legs, have energy, and play their hearts out. Like Jagr, Richards is on life support, and I believe that Gabby has lost the will to win. Get rid of the whole lot, and go from there.

    I know I just pissed off a bunch of people, but use your minds, not emotions, you’ll see I’m right. You all don’t know how much I hate writing this post, but the truth is the truth!!!!!

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