Even at age 45, Jaromir Jagr is still one of the most productive players in the NHL. He still has the ability to rack up points and also plays with a physical edge. Yet, as the offseason is coming to a close, Jagr still finds himself without an NHL home and that is extremely shocking.
Although Jagr had a down year this past season, he still managed to put up 46 points. This was on a Florida Panthers club that did not offer him much support. Jagr should be able to find himself another chance to play sooner rather than later.
Others have also come up with reasons why Jagr would fit with different NHL clubs. With that, it is apparent that he is capable of still being an NHL player. There would not be so much interest in him otherwise.
The Calgary Flames are a team, in my opinion, that should take a look at Jagr. They would have nothing to lose and would only benefit from this. Jagr would instantly become one of their best forwards and make the Flames a better team overall. As much as the Flames upgraded this season, they still have issues with their offensive core. Jagr could help with that.
Right Wing Woes
The Flames have immense talent down the middle and two strong left wingers in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. However, their right side is fairly weak and could use an upgrade. Besides Michael Frolik’s decent production, the Flames seem to lack a first line right winger and that’s where Jagr could come in.
The Flames have used Micheal Ferland on the first line many times, but he does not possess the skills of a top-six forward. Although he is an integral piece of the team, it is clear that Ferland should be playing on their checking line and penalty kill. With Ferland out of their top-six and Jagr in, they would produce more offense.
Lastly, a first line of Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Jagr would be lethal. Can you imagine the remarkable plays they would make? Jagr still has the ability to help lead an offense and that would benefit both linemates. The Flames would be a more difficult team to play if this was their starting line each night.
With the Flames being on the rise, they could use Jagr as a leader in the locker room. It is clear that Jagr has an abundance of experience in the league. Not many players even come close to how polished he is. Jagr could be the guy that motivates them to reach new accomplishments.
Looking at the primary core of the Flames, the majority of their top players are all young. Besides captain Mark Giordano and a few role players, this team is mainly in their early to mid-twenties. It never hurts for an NHL team to bring in a veteran for guidance. With a player like Jagr, the Flames would receive something special.
Push For Contention
At the end of the day, the Flames know they are in a position where they need to win. Gaudreau stated this best.
The Flames luckily have some time with their core players before they expect their big raises. Yet, as previously stated, they will not go far if they do not improve their top-six forward core. For the short term, Jagr would be a solid upgrade. He could drive this team to the position where they are expected to be at.
It appears unlikely that Jagr will play in Calgary this season. However, it is an option the Flames should consider. After an offseason of big moves, it is now time for them to work toward becoming an elite team in the NHL. If they were to pursue this, Jagr could end up being the final piece to the puzzle.