by Tony on 05/12/11 at 11:16 AM ET
“What can you say about Jagr? He’s unbelievable. He’s 39 but playing like a 20-year-old, flying on the ice. He’s so strong.”
That was Ottawa Senator and current Czech teammate Milan Michalek describing former Penguins great Jaromir Jagr after his hat trick propelled the Czech Republic to a 4-0 shutout of the United States yesterday.
But for as impressive it is to see Jagr still lighting it up, it only served as fuel for the speculation fire in Pittsburgh, as numerous outlets are reporting that the Pens want Jagr to participate in a summer golf outing that will serve as a quasi-reunion for the 20th anniversary of the 1991 Stanley Cup Champions.
Speculation is just that, but it’s inevitable that the question now becomes: Will the Penguins offer Jagr the ultimate reconcilation and attempt to sign him for the 2011-2012 season? If you ask me, I say why not?
Obviously, Jagr is no longer the same dazzling, mullet-haired youngster that raced up and down Mellon Arena to the tune of five Art Ross trophies and 646 NHL goals. But he’s still not chop liver, even at his age (he’ll turn 40 next Feb. 15th). Yesterday’s hat trick certainly showed that.
At the same time, there will be those in Penguins Nation that still harbor resentment towards Jagr, especially during his melodramatic “I’m dying alive” phase that eventually resulted in the extremely one-sided trade of Jagr to the Washington Capitals for the relative stiffs Kris Beech, Michal Sivek and Ross Lupaschuk in 2001.
There would also be a question on how much (or should I say, how low) of a salary Jagr would be willing to accept. After all, this is a team that is salary cap-strapped year round. It is true, though, that the Penguins have several unrestricted free agents. The question would then become if Penguins management would take the chance on Jagr replacing one of those players, most of which would be classified as grinders.
And let’s face it, the Penguins are woefully deficient in scoring wingers and secondary scoring in general. Are you gonna hope that Tyler Kennedy has another career year? It’s not like GMRS hasn’t rolled the dice on aging forwards in the recent past, namely guys like Guerin, Kovalev, Ponikarovsky, Sykora, Roberts, Fedotenko and Satan.
So I say, if the salary damage is not bad, why not?
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Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
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