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Jaromir Jagr is about to get a suntan. The New Jersey Devils winger, who had done everything but demand a trade recently, is on his way to … the Florida Panthers! Did anyone see that one coming?
And Florida doesn’t have to give up a player off its roster. The Panthers, who are now clearly gunning for the Bruins and the playoffs, gave up a second round pick in 2015 and a Devils option of Florida’s or third or Minnesota’s third rounder in 2016.
Jagr’s name had been rumored to a few more veteran teams looking to add forward depth. The Panthers are a bit of a surprise, mostly because they’re still two points back of the playoffs and giving up draft picks. It's not like this team is totally out of rebuild mode yet. After all, it did have the No. 1 pick in the draft last year.
That being said – this is now eight teams for the NHL’s premier hired gun. Florida has no state income tax, and at 43, if this is it for Jagr, he can just move into a retirement home in Boca and play tennis every day.
How strange does this look?
— Drew Goldfarb (@DrewGoldfarb) February 26, 2015
Also, Jagr’s legendary work ethic will be of primo importance to Florida’s young players. All guys who have played with him in his older years seem to comment on how he keeps trying to find different ways to get craftier at his game.
As for the on-ice part of it, Jagr is third on the Devils with 29 points and can still be a strong offensive player in certain situations. He wasn't happy with his usage by the end, and maybe another fresh start (with his eighth NHL team) is what he needed.
For New Jersey ... it's time to embrace the tank, in spite of the spin by GM Lou Lamoriello. New Jersey is eight points back of the playoffs, and just sold off a piece to a team it is chasing. Connor McDevil anyone?
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