Boston Bruins Acquire Jaromir Jagr From Dallas

By Mitch Cole (@DirtyWaterBuzz)

Getty Images

Getty Images

The Bruins may have lost out on Jarome Iginla, but they did get the next best player on the market.

Tuesday afternoon, the Bruins announced that they had acquired veteran forward Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Lane MacDermid, the rights to unsigned draft pick Cody Payne, and a conditional second round pick that becomes a first round pick if the Bruins make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The 23 year old MacDermid appeared in three games for the Bruins, racking up 10 penalty minutes on two fighting majors. The 2004 fourth round pick is a big, strong, and physical winger who plays a very similar game to current Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton. While he will likely never play above the fourth line at the NHL level, he is a hardworking kid who always goes the extra mile to make up for his limitations.

“Lane (MacDermid) – you’ve gotten to know Lane a little bit – he’s a real good kid, physical player that we, for some reason or another, couldn’t get into the lineup”, GM Peter Chiarelli said in a press conference Tuesday night before Boston’s game against Ottawa. ” “…I didn’t want to put him through waivers because he would have been picked up in a second.”

Cody Payne, the Bruins’ fifth round pick in 2012, is still playing for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. The 19 year old winger had 24 goals and 21 assists, as well as 75 PIMs in 66 games for the Whalers this past season.

“Cody Payne is a fifth round pick, he’s had a good year this year, big strong, rangey winger”, Chiarelli said of the 19 year old prospect.

Jagr comes to the Bruins already tied with Brad Marchand with for the team high in goals at 14. He also racked up 12 assists and led Dallas with 26 points.

“…There were discussions earlier on and it wasn’t until quite late that we knew he’d be available”, Chiarelli said of the negotiations with Dallas. “But, there had been some groundwork in the event that he was available, so we were able to act on it.”

While Jagr does have 26 points, Chiarelli is unsure of where Jagr will fit into the team’s lineup.

“We talked to Jaromir (Jagr) following the trade and he’s on his way here tomorrow”, Chiarelli said. “His career speaks for itself. He’s a strong player, protects the puck well, consistent with our style, in the sense that there’s a psych element to his game. He’s good on the half-wall, really good release, shot; he’s just a really good player. I know he’s 41 now, but he’s been one of their best players in Dallas; last year he was one of Philly’s (Philadelphia) best players.

“He gives us an element of offense, he gives us an element of size, shooting. In this day and age, you have to have the strength, fortitude, whatever you want to call it, to get to the net. Whether it’s to get in position to take a shot or just to get there to protect the puck, we believe Jaromir has that and we’re happy to get him.

“Obviously there’s a need on the third line, but he’s got a higher line pedigree. But, what I said to Jaromir (Jagr) was that we pride ourselves on four strong lines and he’s an important part, but not the part to success. So, he could be on the third line – there are times when our fourth line has been our third line and vice versa, so it depends on who’s going, but I think we try and even it out. He seemed very receptive to that.”

Chiarelli also likened the Jagr addition to the Recchi addition made in 2009, one that proved to vital in Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup run and subsequent victory.

“”…I liken it a little – and I told Jaromir this too – the addition of Mark Recchi. ‘You don’t have to be the guy, but you’re an important piece and you’re band together with your teammates; and you’ve got the experience, you’ve got a certain skill set, size, whatever you want to call it, that will benefit the rest of the group. But, really, you have experience and you want to win still.’ That was an important question, and he was very receptive to that.”

Personally, I like this deal a lot for the Bruins. With their bottom six locked up for the foreseeable future, MacDermid had no where to go in Boston except the 13th forward and conditioning stints in Providence. Payne is a decent prospect who has had a great season for Plymouth, but he doesn’t project to be anything more than a third line player in the NHL. Essentially, the Bruins acquired Jagr, a future hall of famer who is still a potent goal scorer at 41, for two C level prospects and a conditional draft pick.

The Bruins’ offense has struggled greatly since late February, and while many fans feel the Bruins should have dealt for more of a two way player, that’s just not what they needed. The Bruins needed a player who can come in and be a legitimate offensive threat to boost both their top six and their power play, and that’s what everybody thought the Bruins were getting in Jarome Iginla. But when that fell through, the Bruins needed to do something about their offense.

Acquiring a player of Jagr’s caliber is a tremendous move by Chiarelli. Not only does he add a major offensive weapon to the team’s arsenal, he adds a veteran player who is hungry for another shot at the Cup. I see this deal working out very much like the Mark Recchi deal did in 2009. While it may not get the Bruins a Stanley Cup this year, they could very well win it in the next one to two years. I personally believe the Bruins sorely missed the veteran presence of a player such as Recchi. Yes, players like Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron are veterans and leaders on the team, but they needed a guy that everyone followed, just as Recchi was a guy everyone followed. Jagr knows what it takes to win a Cup, and at this stage in his career, he has already stated to both the media and to Chiarelli that he is willing to do whatever is needed of him.

The Bruins normally don’t need a big splash like this, but remember one thing: The last time the Bruins made a big splash at the deadline (Tomas Kaberle in 2011), they won the Stanley Cup.

Other notes:

Kaspars Daugavins, claimed by the Bruins off of waivers from Ottawa on March 27, finally had his U.S. work visa issues straightened out and reported to the team Tuesday afternoon. He did not dress for that night’s game, although he was on the ice for warmups.

“I like him (Daugavins) as a player. I think he’s got a lot of elements to his game that are consistent with, or compatible with, our game”, Chiarelli said of the Latvian forward. “He’s strong, he’s skilled, and for whatever reason he wasn’t getting played a lot (in Ottawa). He didn’t fit there, so that’s fine. We’ll see where he fits. He’s still a young player, so you try to get him in and look at him, and see where it goes.”

Chiarelli was unable to provide much of an update on Swedish forward Carl Soderberg, who the team hopes to sign to an NHL contract before the season ends.

“They (Linkoping HC, Soderberg’s Swedish League team) won the first round and they’re down two-one in the second round. We’ll see where that goes. Again, I’d like to think we can get him in here this year for this playoff, but we’ll see.” UPDATE: Linkoping HC now trails 3-1 in their playoff series, making it more and more likely Soderberg will make the jump to North America before the end of the season.

The last time the Bruins had an acquisition held up for an extended period of time due to work visa issues (Chris Kelly in 2011), they won the Stanley Cup.

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