With the trade deadline getting closer, the Islanders are in an odd position, being a buyer rather than a seller. Over the years, it had been customary for the Islanders to sell off pieces to playoff teams rather than look to acquire guys for a run. Leading up to the deadline, I will look at some players I feel could fit with the Islanders down the stretch and into the playoffs. Today, I will start with Jaromir Jagr who reports suggested recently wants to be traded to an eastern conference contender.
Worlds of Experience
Jagr is in the midst of his 20th NHL season and is no doubt on his way to the NHL Hall of Fame when ever he decides to hang up the skates. With that experience he brings leadership that would be invaluable to a young team like the Islanders, especially come playoff time. We saw the importance of experience in the Islanders series with the Penguins in 2013. Additionally, he brings two cup rings as well from his time with the Penguins. While the Islanders have brought in a lot of experience, adding a guy like Jagr to that could be vital, especially in the playoffs. Who knows, Jagr could end up doing for the Islanders what Marian Gaborik did for the Kings last season.
Still a Little Left
At the age of 43 now, some may be turned off by Jagr thinking he is over the hill. While I don’t pretend that I watch him game in and game out, I have seen him more than a few times this year and I would tell those people that Jagr definitely isn’t over the hill. While he may not have blazing speed, he still is a decent enough skater. Additionally, while his offensive numbers may not be huge this year, that could easily be an element of playing on a less than stellar offensive team in New Jersey. While he may not put up 100+ points for the Islanders, I think he could absolutely be a useful player for them down the stretch.
While the Islanders won’t be getting the Jagr in that video, that is the type of skill he is capable of bringing to the table. Also, another element of his game that people underestimate his is size and his ability to use it. That size could be valuable for the Islanders more so than some other teams as they are a relatively small team when compared to some other eastern conference playoff teams.
Where would he fit?
On top of his age, another thing that makes people hesitate on Jagr is wondering where exactly he would fit in the Islanders lineup. With the Islanders depth at forward, that is definitely a fair question to ask. For me, he would fit on the second or third line as well as a power play specialist. While some of his skills have worn away with age, he has shown that he still possess a great shot which would come in handy for the team. Additionally, the power play has battled with inconsistency at points in the season and Jagr would help that immeasurably. Also, like I said above, acquiring Jagr wouldn’t be just for what he can provide on the ice, but off it as well. His wealth of experience for guys like Brock Nelson and Anders Lee especially would be invaluable this season and going forward.
Will Jagr be an Islander?
I of course can’t answer this with 100% certainty, however, for the reasons I have outlined here it wouldn’t surprise me if number 68 ended up suiting up in the orange and blue. Additionally, Jagrs desire to be traded to an eastern conference contender makes the Islanders a possibility as well.