The Florida Panthers have made a big splash in the days leading up to the NHL trade deadline. The Panthers acquired one of the best hockey players to ever play the game. Jaromir Jagr is a purrfect fit in Florida. Pardon the cheesy pun, but this move is a pretty damn smart one for Dale Tallon and the Panthers. Jagr is one of the best of all time, acquiring such a talent is sending a clear signal to the league of the Panthers’ win now mentality.
“That we’re buyers and committed to winning,’’ Tallon said was his message. “[Owner Vinnie Viola] and we all said we want to win a championship. We’re putting the pieces together step by step. Hopefully, Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It’s a win-win for us.’’
Mentoring Young Cats
If you could choose any player to mentor your young core, Jaromir Jagr would definitely be one of your first choices. At least, he should be. Jagr will be playing alongside either Aleksander Barkov or Nick Bjugstad. Both big body centers capable of working the boards, and that is Jagr’s bread and butter. He is at the very least going to show these kids like Barkov, Bjugstad, Huberdeau, and Ekblad how to be a pro on and off the ice.
Jaromir Jagr is a huge fitness freak and trains like there is no tomorrow. He is a leader, a winner, and now, he will be a mentor to the young core of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers could not have brought in a better mentor for their young kids. However Jagr will most certainly be looking to provide more for the Cats than just being a mentor.
Not only will Jaromir Jagr’s arrival provide scoring depth on the right side, the main area in which he will be helping the Panthers, is on the power play. Florida currently has one of the worst power play units in the NHL, a big reason why they are on the outside looking in rather than in a playoff spot. Jagr immediately improves that area. If the Panthers can get their PP going, they will start climbing over Boston for that final playoff spot.
Jagr will also help Florida fill some of those empty seats that are so embarrassing to see. He is a HUGE name in the hockey world. I for one cannot wait to see what sort of impact he will have on this young team. Tallon said Jagr will play on Saturday vs the Bufallo Sabres.
The Florida Panthers are currently in a battle for the 8th and final playoff spot. Currently owned by the Bruins who have 67 points. The Panthers are close behind them with 65 points, while the surging Flyers and Senators are right there too. If Jagr can provide the Panthers with much needed offense, both 5 on 5, and on the power play, there’s no reason to think the Panthers cannot make the playoffs. It will be a battle, but the Panthers just added a piece who has seen and done it all, which can only help.
“We should have a legitimate chance of being a competitor all the way through. That’s the lesson I want for our young guys. Compete hard, that we’re in the playoff hunt. If we make it, great, if we don’t, at least they had a taste of it and they’ll look forward to the following years ahead of us.” – Dale Tallon
Let’s hope Jaromir Jagr enjoys his time with the Panthers, and realizes the team oozes potential. Maybe then, he won’t be just another rental.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble