Jaromir Jagr shocked the hockey world once again, signing with the Dallas Stars for the 2012-2013 season. Last offseason he bypassed offers from the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins to join forces with Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers. The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer signed a one year contract with Dallas, earning him $4.55 million next season.
Stars’ General Manager, Joe Nieuwendyk made the announcement on Tuesday. In addition to the signing of Jagr, the Stars’ acquired Derek Roy in a trade with Buffalo along with the signings of Ray Whitney and Aaron Rome. Stars’ owner, Tom Gaglardi spoke about the quick transformation of the team. “In a span of three days we’ve been able to remake our team a bit and we like it. It fits very well with our long-term direction. We had to give up a couple of assets to get there, but we like who we’ve brought in and the deals we made. We feel fortunate we got done what we wanted to get done in pretty short order. We’re a better hockey team today.”
Gaglardi also spoke about bringing a player of Jagr’s caliber to Dallas. “I think it’s a testament to our franchise that a player of Jaromir’s stature would choose to come to Dallas over so many other teams. It’s a great day for our franchise. I hope it’s the start of a trend where great players want to play in Dallas. It’s a great day for our fans and for our franchise.” One of the positives in the signings was Jagr’s willingness to play with younger players. Gaglardi said, “You look at Jagr and the kind of success he has had working with younger players, which is what we are. You look at the season that Claude Giroux had and I think Jagr deserves some credit for Giroux’s year and the way he improved as a player. I am excited about the kind of effect Jagr can have on our young players, the Jamie Benns, the Loui Erikssons , the Matt Frasers and all the way down the line. He’s a lead by example guy, extremely hardworking. What he can do on the ice and in the locker room is something we’ll be able to measure for a number of years.”
Joe Nieuwendyk has already fathomed the potential line combinations heading into next season. “I play with the names on my board all the time, but I am staring right now at Jamie Benn at center with Jaromir on right and Loui Eriksson on left. It looks pretty good to me in July here.”
In his return to Philadelphia last year, Jagr posted 19 goals and 35 assists in 73 games with the Flyers’. He knew coming to the Flyers’ he would not be remembered well by Pittsburgh fans and was up to the challenge. Nieuwendyk said coming to Dallas is a welcomed challenge for the future Dallas Stars first line right winger. “Even at 40 he is a difficult guy to contain. He is still as good as anybody in the league at using that big body of his down low. Nieuwendyk added, “He still keeps himself in tremendous shape. He knows how much he needs to play in order to be successful, and how much is too much. He is really in tune with that stuff. I think he is going to be a good fit with our group. He’s a guy that is up for challenges. He’s done so much in his career that he views this as a challenge.”
In turn, Jaromir Jagr welcomed himself to Stars’ fans via twitter. “I want to thank Dallas Stars for giving me the opportunity.Say hallo to my new teammates and fans. Hopefully we can make together big things.”
He also thanked Flyers’ fans via twitter. “Thank you the Flyers for the opportunity you gave me.Thanks to all fans and teammates for great support! I had so much fun! Will miss you.”
Jagr even had some personal thoughts on his line-mates and certain teammates, also via twitter. “Special thanks to my line-mates Scotty and G.” Directed toward Claude Giroux, “Keep working and soon you will be the best player in the NHL like I said.” Directed to Scott Hartnell, “Work hard and you will score 40.”
Although Jagr never played on a line with grinder, Max Talbot the 40 year old right winger had good things about to say about Talbot. “Just to everybody knows:Max Talbot is the most underrated and underpaid player in NHL.Holmgren did a great job signing him last season.”
Dallas looks to be a playoff team with their roster additions this offseason and the Flyers’ will now have a roster spot and more cap space cleared up to pursue other players via free agency or trades.