Should the Blackhawks call Jaromir Jagr?
If the price is right, it’s worth a call.
Jaromir Jagr is sad. Or at least so he claims on Twitter, where he revealed to his many followers Thursday that he’s still waiting for someone to call him about a job for next season.
Everywhere I look,I read:all FA getting calls from10-12teams. Me0 calls.On the contrary,I'm trying to call them,and no ones picking up.😀😳🇨🇿— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) June 29, 2017
In case you were looking for a visual breakdown of where Jagr is at right now, he happily obliged with his next tweet:
FA 1994- all GMs called , FA 2017- 0 calls🏆😀 pic.twitter.com/7uLJm95CAB— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) June 29, 2017
OK! Obviously this is all in jest to some degree on Jagr’s part, and there’s a non-zero chance that he’s actually gotten calls from other teams. Twitter is good for arguing with strangers, but it’s also good for joking with people every once in a while.
Still, let’s say Jagr really is looking for a team to sign him next season.
Should the Blackhawks try to do it?
The short answer here is going to be the same one you’ve heard regarding just about every potential Blackhawks target for the past seven years: depends on the price. The Hawks aren’t exactly swimming in salary cap space, so if he’s expecting a payout over $5 million, the odds are against this making any sense.
But let’s say he’d take $2.5 million, and the Blackhawks had decided to place Marian Hossa on LTIR before the start of the season, which would give them the ability to make a deal like that.
In that case? The answer is HECK YEAH.
OK, so first off, he’s Jaromir Jagr. A legend among legend, a king among kings. A 10-time All-Star, five-time Art Ross winner, two-time Stanley Cup champ. He’s nearly 45 years old. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, from his recent tweets to the time he reacted to an 18-year-old supermodel threatening to post embarrassing pictures of him online by shrugging and letting it happen. It’s rather refreshing.
Suffice to say, Jagr is awesome.
But you wouldn’t sign him just for that, otherwise we’d be advocating to go after Wayne Gretzky, too.
Jagr was also still pretty good last season. Yes, 46 points isn’t as good as 66 points the year before. But the Panthers’ offense struggled as a whole last season, and Jagr saw his shooting percentage drop from 18.9 percent to 8.8 percent. His career rate is 13.6 percent, and he’s at 11.8 percent during the past five seasons. He still generated his fair share of shots — 2.21 per game, an increase from 1.81 the year before — they just weren’t going in.
He also posted great possession numbers, which he has done basically everywhere since they started tracking that stuff in 2007-08.
So this idea that acquiring Jagr would be a bad hockey move seems based primarily on his age, rather than on what he did last season. The odds seem pretty good that he’s got at least one more 40- or 50-point season left in the tank, especially if that shooting percentage bounces back closer to 11-12 percent.
Between the undeniably joy that would come from seeing Jagr and his delightful mullet skating around the United Center, and the fact that he’s still pretty effective, it would be a pretty fun move.
The money will almost certainly be too much, and Jagr will almost certainly have age catch up to him sooner than later. But if it happened, I would be pretty excited. At the very least, it’s worth a call to see what he’d take.