New Jersey Devils, Jaromir Jagr Agree to One-Year Deal
By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)
According to the Twitter report from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the New Jersey Devils have used up some of their recently freed up cap space by signing NHL veteran and two time Stanley Cup winner, Jaromir Jagr to a one-year deal. Details have not been released on the agreement which is likely to be officially announced by the club on Tuesday. Still, the signing takes away a bit of the sting left behind by the departure of David Clarkson who fled home to Toronto upon becoming a free agent and Ilya Kovalchuk‘s sudden NHL-retirement.
Despite his declining speed and increasing amount of grey hair, Jaromir Jagr still has plenty to offer to the New Jersey Devils, a team with both a vacancy on their power play as well as an opening for a top-six forward. Playing the majority of last season in Dallas before returning to the East coast to finish with the Boston Bruins, the 41-year old winger scored 16 goals and 19 assists in 41-games, 11 of those points coming with a man-advantage. Though he went 22 playoff games en route to the Stanley Cup Finals without a goal, Jagr contributed 10-assists.
The biggest question coming out of this signing will be whether or not Lou Lamoriello allows Jagr to wear number 68, a number that goes against the Devils’ tradition but a number Jagr has worn throughout the span of his career. The number represents the Prague Spring rebellion which took place in his native country, Czechoslovakia, in 1968. Jagr’s grandfather also died that same year after being jailed by Soviet forces as a result of Prague Spring.
Other signings and re-signings for New Jersey this summer have included defenseman Peter Harrold, Jacob Josefson, Andrei Loktionov, Mattias Tedenby, Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder. New Jersey also added Corey Schneider to share the workload with Martin Brodeur, buying out former-backup Johan Hedberg to make room for the future starting goaltender.