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Jaromir Jagr’s a playoff villain in Pittsburgh again…Because the Iginla trade fell through?

As the Boston Globe's Michael Vega notes, Jaromir Jagr's played for more than a few teams since being traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Washington Capitals, but the upcoming series beteween Jagr's Boston Bruins and the Penguins does not in fact mark the first time that Jagr's returned to Pittsburgh as a villian...Instead, it's the second season in a row that Jagr's attempted to scuttle his former employer's playoff hopes:

Jagr will make a return engagement in Pittsburgh, where he will play upon a much bigger stage at the Consol Energy Center, the Penguins’ hockey palace where he was treated as a villain in last year’s playoffs when he showed up with the Philadelphia Flyers.

“We played Pittsburgh in the first round,’’ recalled Jagr, who compiled 1-6—7 totals to help the Flyers defeat the Penguins in the quarterfinals, four games to two. “It was a pretty exciting series for the fans. It was up-and-down hockey, with a lot of goals scored. There was not much defense and I don’t think the goaltenders had a great series. It was high-scoring and everybody enjoyed it, but it was different. Here we are different team than in Philadelphia; we wanted to go offense against offense.’'

After Jarome Iginla scuttled a trade-deadline deal the Bruins had struck with the Flames and opted instead to go with the Penguins, the Bruins acquired Jagr from the Stars. It was a move that resulted in unforeseen dividends for the Bruins, who kept promising defenseman Matt Bartkowski, who had been part of the Iginla deal. Bartkowski got to stay in Boston and play alongside Jagr, one of Bartkowski’s favorites while growing up in Pittsburgh.

When Jagr was asked if it ever occurred to him that he might not be in Boston were it not for Iginla’s decision to go to Pittsburgh, he paused.

“That’s one way to look at it,’’ he said. “But if you start looking at it this way, you’re going to get crazy pretty soon. Everything kind of depends on other stuff. So, if I weren’t here, then Bartkowski wouldn’t be here, either, because he would be somewhere else.

“Maybe Boston wouldn’t be in this position, because when the defensemen got injured, he had played so well. There’s so many things, you just have to take the way it is right now.’’


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bezukov's avatar

I know its just business and you can’t really blame a guy for following the cup and a nice contract… but, Jagr’s tendency to move around makes it hard to respect him, even if he was traded.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 05/29/13 at 12:14 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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