When is the real Captain going to show up?


Both the “News”:http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/2007/11/23/2007-11-23_jaromir_jagr_still_struggling_to_score.html and “the Post”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/11232007/sports/rangers/rangers_shouldnt_open_in_prague_206116.htm take a look today at the giant elephant in the room, namely Jaromir Jagr’s slow start (four goals, 17 points) and how it relates to his curious contract situation.

The short of it is that Jagr needs to attain certain benchmarks — 40 goals or 84 points and win a playoff round — to trigger his option for next season, otherwise he becomes an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Larry Brooks “takes it a step further”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/11232007/sports/rangers/rangers_shouldnt_open_in_prague_206116.htm and says the Rangers shouldn’t make the decision to open in Prague next season because it might compromise their thinking about what to do with Jagr.

Bear in mind that the Rangers are better served having Jagr’s option year kick in than they are re-signing him because the Capitals — who yesterday canned former Ranger goalie Glen Hanlon as their coach — are currently on the hook for part of his salary, sparing the Rangers the cap charge.

It’s a dicey area all around, and even with the Rangers winning, it’s going to become even more complicated unless Jagr starts scoring. While he has been outwardly a happy soldier — and only talking about his own lack of production when asked about it — there’s no questioning that it has been weighing on him. At season’s start I predicted big things for Jagr given that he’s back healthy — mostly healthy, at least — and I still think he’s going to pick it up.

The good news is running mate Marty Straka is likely back tonight against the Panthers, and will almost certainly be playing by his countryman’s side, either at center or at wing.

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  1. Jagr Hat Trick tonight with 2 assist coming from Straka and the pther one being unassisted

  2. Last season Jagr and the Rangers were out of the playoff picture. I was howling for Jagr to be traded deep into the month of February, after that horrendous 3rd period collapse against Tampa Bay in Tampa.

    The season is 82 games long and we’re not even to the quarter pole. The Rangers have won 10 of 12 and their offense and PP aren’t even clicking.

    So yes, it is easy to get frustrated with the lack of scoring, but lets remember that the Rangers didn’t even begin to turn it on until Avery got here in late February early March, whenever it was.

  3. What’s wrong with Jagr? What’s wrong with everyone? Sure he hasn’t been scoring that much but neither has anyone else. I mean Colton Orr can’t carry us forever. I still believe in our captain. I hope he’s a Ranger for atleast a few more years, I will be sad if he isn’t. Let’s go Jags!!!

  4. What I am sick of is listening the the so-called “fans” at MSG booing everytime our PP doesn’t score. Or chanting “shoot the puck”.

    These “fans” should cheer their team on. I wish I was there sometimes and not in Virginia so I could tell these fans who boo to shut the eff up and cheer their team on.

    This isn’t 2001-2004 when we watched Ron Low, Brian Trottier and John Muckler’s Free Agent country club teams loaf around the ice night in and night out.

    We have defenseman who take the body, rookies, second and third year players, 38 year old men who drop the gloves with Donald Brashaers, players who are genuinely disliked around the lesgue and a goaltender who won’t take a night off. We lead the league in blocked shots and goals against and these “fans” who most likely know nothing of hockey feel they are entitled to boo. You don’t lead the league in blocked shots if you’re loafing night in and night out.

    Entitlements, what sports is becoming due to the cost to attend games and the overall me-first attitude of some of our fans.

    Jagr has scored over 620 goals, is a first ballot HOF and has been playing in this league for over 15 years. I’m sorry you don’t boo those guys, not if you know what your talking about when it comes to sports. Do I get upset with Jagr, sure I do, but I always put things in perspective and the things I remember about Jags is how he ended last season, putting the team on his back and taking us into the playoffs.

    Jagr is a true professional in every sense of the word. He takes probably the most critism of any player around the league. Gets boo’d everywhere he plays and he has become so much more of a team player.

  5. Any update on Avery would be great if possible but since Sam didn’t make the trip to FL, might be tough!

    Looking forward to seeing the game on Ch 9 sunday… brings back memories of Jim Gordon & Chadwick (then Espo) calling the play. Man, that was a long time ago!

  6. Shanny and Gomez haven’t played well lately either. They were both non factors vs the Bolts. The third and 4th lines were terrific. Prucha likely the best forward. The defense did a fantastic job on Vinny. Girardi and Tyutin specifically. Baranka imo was impressive. The pp did look a whole look better. Lundqvist was unbelievable and Holmqvist is a sieve.

  7. Doodie Machetto on

    Any word on Rozsi? I’m much more concerned about him than Avery.

    And if Straka is close, how about Callahan?

    Notice: no one cares about Malik.

  8. Vogs,

    I am not even going to type another thing after this post. You said everything I wanted to say and more. Let’s Go Rangers!!!! This is a good team. When the PP clicks we are going to be a great team!

  9. goal_by_PRUUU!!! on

    I think the papers are jumping the gun on Jags here. It’s relatively early and he’s still Jagr.

  10. if anyone wants to see some pictures that i took in tampa during the pregame skate, the link is my name.

    also, like everyone else, i’m concerned about aves; my friend sitting next to the bench heard him yell it was broken so i’m wondering what the deal is.

    Leading the league in GA and not by a small margin either.
    Defense wins Championships, everyone knows this.
    This offense has to come around. Think about it, you can’t put this many great players in the locker room and not have something great come out of it. Its gonna happen…!

  12. First off, I heard the x-rays were negative for Avery so hopefully just a bad bruise…

    Second, I think the panic button has been pushed AGAIN this season. I don’t really understand what all the fuss is about.

    Jagr has single handedly carried this team on numerous occasions… recently Hank’s done it. Do we NEED Jagr to be playing out of his mind right now? No. Would we like it? Sure. But seriously… I’m sure he doesn’t have the pedal to the metal yet… and he shouldn’t. Turn it on in the spring… that’s fine by me.

    The Rangers have multiple players contributing each night. A good sign. When their powerplay is horrible, the defense steps up and scores, when pucks aren’t finding their target, Hank steps up, when they play stingy defense, a non-goal scorer pots the only necessary one needed to win.

    This team has won 10 of their last 12…

    What more do you want?

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