Free agent Jaromir Jagr and the New Jersey Devils have reportedly agreed on a one-year contract.
The Devils, who are now in the hockey league’s newly created Metropolitan Division, are seeking to reload after the surprise retirement of Ilya Kovalchuk who decided he preferred playing in Russia instead of the NHL. According to ESPN, “Jagr is no longer the elite player he once was, but the 23-year veteran is strong on the puck and can help on the power play. A Hart Trophy winner and five-time Art Ross Trophy winner, Jagr is 19 goals shy of 700 for his career.”
The Devils play their home games at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Jagr is one of a small group of professional hockey players to have won the Stanley Cup (1991 and 1992 with the Pittsburgh Penguins), the Ice Hockey World Championships (2005, 2010), and the Olympic gold medal (1998). This is known as the Triple Gold Club, and Jagr is one of only two Czech players in the Triple Gold Club. He was also one of the youngest players in NHL history, at age 20, to score a goal in the Stanley Cup finals.
The Dallas Stars traded Jagr, 41, to the Boston Bruins — who were seeking a veteran presence for the playoff run — in early April. Between the two teams, Jagr complied 16 goals and 19 assists in the regular season, but had zero goals with 10 assists in the 2013 playoffs.
It’s not unusual for star professional athletes in various sports to change teams multiple times near the tail end of their careers before they hang it up completely.
Jagr originally made his NHL debut in 1990 with the Pens with whom he played until 2001. He also was a member of the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers. Jagr is second only to Mario Lemieux in most offensive categories for Pittsburgh.
During this year’s playoffs, Jagr quipped that his favorite hockey player growing up was… Jaromir Jagr.
Do you think Jaromir Jagr will help the Devils in their competitive division in the 2013-2014 NHL season?