Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final was supposed to be Jaromir Jagr’s final game as a member of the Boston Bruins.
He was a hired gun at the trade deadline, who helped the B’s to the season’s final round. But GM Peter Chiarelli informed him that the Bruins wouldn’t have him in the plans for 2013-14, thanks to both the NHL’s salary cap and Jagr’s productivity in the postseason decreasing. (The difference, of course, being that the salary cap doesn’t have an incredible playoff beard.)
When asked what needed to happen for Jagr to return to the Bruins, the veteran winger quipped: “Maybe if I scored 20 goals in the playoffs … I was 20 short.”
Turns out there was another way for the 41-year-old winger to return to Boston: The departure of Nathan Horton as an unrestricted free agent.
Suddenly, the Bruins might be back in the Jaromir Jagr business.
Chiarelli told the media on Wednesday that the Bruins “may revisit” Jagr after telling him they were moving on.
Jagr skated on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand for the Bruins in the postseason, after tallying nine points in 11 regular season games and 10 assists in 22 playoff games – although, for only the second time in his NHL career, he failed to tally a goal in a postseason appearance.
Chiarelli was a fan of Jagr’s strength on the puck and his prowess on the power play, giving the Bruins a weapon that demanded attention on the man advantage. But as the season wore on, it was apparent that Jagr wasn’t a perfect fit with the Bruins’ system, and for the second straight season appeared to tire by the playoffs.
Personally, we’d rather see the Bruins go younger on right wing and Jagr take his talents to another team that could use his abilities to energize a scoring line. His impact on the Giroux/Hartnell line two years ago in Philadelphia could be replicated with another pair of offensively talented players.
Paging Craig MacTavish …
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