How far will the Rangers get this season?

Jaromir Jagr Discusses Possible NY Return
+ Wild fans hold service for Boogaard and more

Jaromir Jagr’s performance for the Czech Republic in the World Championships has added gasoline to the rumors of a potential NHL return for No. 68.

Yesterday, Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal penned an article with these comments from Jagr:

“You never know. Maybe it will be still fun to go back to NHL,” Jagr said mere minutes after collecting a bronze medal at the IIHF world hockey championship when the Czechs beat Russia 7-4 on Sunday. “Maybe Pittsburgh. I don’t know. Maybe Montreal. Maybe New York. Pittsburgh, I played there for a long time. Mario is the owner. It’s better to play with great centres like (Sidney) Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin, (then) this game is a little bit easier and I’m not young anymore. I would like to score some goals, empty-netters with those guys and it’s a lot easier.”

“New York, I always had a great feeling about that city. They gave me a second chance. I never forget about that. And Montreal and Canada, it’s totally different hockey. The fans are crazy about hockey and I’ve never played in Canada in my life. You never know.”

Other media outlets have reported that Jagr is deep into negotiations with other KHL teams and may be using the NHL rumors as leverage.

But Jagr’s comments can’t be ignored.

At 39-years-old, he’s not the player he once was, but Jagr could undoubtedly help an NHL team in the short-term.

It is likely that the Rangers will be hoping to add Brad Richards and a top-six winger this summer in their quest to add more offense.  Jagr is not necessarily worse than other free agent wingers, many of whom come with equal risk.


Simon Gagne – Long concussion history

Alex Tanguay – Big drop-off in points in each of the last three years until revival in 2010-2011

Jussi Jokinen – Tempting, but talent may not equate to top-six role or pay

Brooks Laich – Thrived behind Washington’s big guns, likely to get big raise

Ville Leino – Flyers want to keep him, also will be pricey

Andrew Brunette – 37-years-old

Michael Ryder – Has been a disappointment in both Montreal and Boston

Erik Cole- Oft-injured, 32-years-old

Cory Stillman – 37-years-old, best days far behind him

Tomas Kopecky – Did well with bigger role this year, still unproven

Tomas Fleischmann – Missed end of season with pulmonary embolism

Scottie Upshall – Coming off best season, still scored just 34 points

Sergei Samsonov – 32-years-old, Rangers have plenty of undersized wingers

Steve Sullivan – 36-years-old, can’t stay healthy

Joel Ward – Huge in playoffs, still a third line forward

Sean Bergenheim – Monster in playoffs, doesn’t fit with previous career results

Of all of them, Leino, Jokinen, and Laich are probably the most tempting, but they are also the players most likely to command rich multi-year deals.  The Rangers are likely looking for a stop-gap solution while they wait for Christian Thomas and Chris Kreider to arrive.

Several of those guys might be had on the cheap, but Jagr might be better than all of them, even at this stage of his career. 

On a one-year deal, it’s hard to see where signing Jagr hurts the Rangers.  As long as he understands the situation, he’s probably as good as almost any other free agent the Rangers bring in. 

Plus, he’s got a history here and it would be fun to see him back in blue. 


- Kevin DeLury at is holding a contest in tribute to Derek Boogaard.  Head on over there for more details.

- It has been well documented that Minnesota Wild fans were extremely attached to Boogaard.  Here are the extremely emotional details on the memorial service held yesterday at Xcel Energy Center.

- The Rangers continue to be tied to Swedish goalie Viktor Fasth.  Hard to understand why Fasth would want to sign with a team so set in goal as opposed to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but perhaps the allure of learning from Henrik Lundqvist is enough.

- Andrew Gross believes that Coach John Tortorella would be extremely cautious should the Rangers end up on HBO’s “24/7.”  In fact, Gross thinks that getting an inside look at how GM Glen Sather operates might be the more interesting subplot.

- Ryan Callahan should be fully recovered by next week.  Tortorella, on the other hand, is struggling to heal from his knee replacement surgery.

- The Calgary Flames re-signed Curtis Glencross to a four-year, $10.2 million deal.  This is a little surprising because the Flames are pressed right up against the salary cap.  Re-signing Glencross doesn’t seem like it should have been a high priority.  That’s another winger off the free agent market, though there have been no indications that the Rangers were interested.  Glencross’s cap hit of $2.55 million may impact the Rangers’ offers to Brian Boyle, Brandon Dubinsky, and Ryan Callahan.

- Larry Brooks reports that the Rangers will likely be forced to hold their last two weeks of training camp overseas plus a handful of exhibition games against European teams and their first two regular season games.  The Blueshirts will return home only to head on another six-to-eight game road trip, probably to Western Canada, as they await the re-opening of Madison Square Garden.


Posted by Kevin Baumer | May 16, 2011 at 03:32 pm

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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