Jagr straddles the proverbial fence

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As if my post from before didn’t already hint at as much, Jaromir Jagr was predictably noncommital when it came to the subject of his plans for next season.

“I think we should worry about that a little later after the season,” Jagr said. “How to explain it? There was still a chance I was going to hit the numbers (84 points for him and and appearance in the second round for the Rangers) and I was going to be here for sure. Now I’m not going to hit it and I’m totally OK with free agency. But I still have a contract here and I’m going to try to play my best, so whatever happens, happens. I don’t know.”

This all comes in the wake of Glen Sather’s comments in Prague that he wants to re-sign the captain before he becomes a free agent July 1.Jagr said he hadn’t heard that — “I was in Buffalo,” he said — but now that he did, he sounded skeptical.

“I know how people react when there’s pressure from media,” he cracked. “You cannot say the truth, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. I just want to have a great playoffs. That’s all I worry about.”

Naturally, Jagr has been thinking about this more than he let on today, but it’s clear it’s not something he wants out for public consumption while the Rangers are still playing. As far as he’s concerned, the only certainty about his future is where he’ll finish his career. It probably won’t be next year, or even the year after that, but eventually he wants to finish playing in Kladno, where he started as a junior a near quarter century ago.

“I know that for sure because at least it’s not the NHL and I can play there,” Jagr said. “That’s what I know for sure. If nothing bad happens, I’m going to finish my hockey career in Kladno.”

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51 Comments

  1. Who Needs Lohan on

    in the previous post, Doodie wrote….”If the queen had balls she’d be the king”

    Or she’d be a Tranny Queen!

  2. I’m sure Jags doesn’t want to say anything that will distract from the what the team is doing. I hope Jags is a Ranger for years to come. :)

  3. “…but it’s clear it’s not something he wants out for public consumption while the Rangers are still playing.”

    What a novel concept Sam. Could you run that by Avery and see what he thinks?

  4. I agree with Rangers 6830. Jagr has been a great Ranger. People think he’s not fiery enough, that he doesn’t care. I couldn’t disagree more. He leads be example. He tutors young players after practice and on the bench during games. Look at how much better guys like Avery and Dubinsky play with him.

    What’s more impressive is that he’s adjusted his playing style in lieu of scoring. the puck isn’t going in for him, and rather than hog it and take bad shots, he’s one other things. He’s quicker with the puck, moves his feet, draws defenders and passes. He doesn’t seem to demand the puck like he used to. He’s okay being a decoy.

    In the bigger picture, Jagr CARES about being a Ranger. Don’t dispute this. He loves the sweater, the city, the fans and the organization. That’s all you can ask for from your captain.

    Cheers to Jaromir, and here’s to a great run in the playoffs!

  5. Hey Sam,
    just wondering if you take offense at all to the fact that sather answers questions and talks to the media in edmonton and now in prague about the rangers but doesn’t talk to anyone from the new york media. Just wondering what are your thoughts on this.

  6. Couldn’t agree more Rob C. He plays every game, doesn’t dive or flail his arms around like a prima donna. Jagr as been nothing but a solid citizen as a Ranger. You can tell how much it means to him to be the captain of this team.

  7. Yeah I noticed that too, Dellapina has brought this up a few times. Sather never talks to the NY media, all the quotes from him are from Canadian media or elsewhere. I’m not sure if I even remember the sound of Sather’s voice, lol.

  8. “As for bashing Valliquette, I will continue to do so. It’s nothing personal against the guy. I think he’s a good teammate and an adequate stand-in. But I still think we should get a veteran back up because I think it will make Lundqvist better. Do you think Hank can learn anything from Vally besides how to keep a bench warm? A solid veteran can teach Hank about maintaining composure, focus, and maybe a thing or two about the actual playing of the position (PUCKHANDLING!!!). So, no, I am not for bringing back Valliquette for another season.”

    If Lundqvist really needs a veteran back up to push him and motivate him, then he is never winning a stanley cup. He should be able to push and motivate himself. Sure it would help, but he needs to find his own motivation. Plus I think Vally does do that to a degree when Renney gives him a chance. Vally bailed henke out against Philly and had those 2 shutouts against them too along with a strong game against Washington. If Renney played him more, then he’d be that guy to push Henke even more if he needs it.

    About Jagr, just to let you guys know, he wanted to be a Rangers originally before Craig Patrick decided to deal him to the Caps. Then when he got his chance to come here, you could clearly see that he was very happy to be here and play hockey in the city of NY. If we can get him back for a decent price, I’d say sure. We can’t be paying him top dollar anymore though.

  9. Fruity Cupcake on

    Honestly! Inquiring minds want to know! If Sam’s going to drop sartorial hints about Avery’s garments, then he ought to follow up. Quid pro quo: I’m wearing a black tee, pleated grey trousers and Kenneth Cole boots :-)

  10. The discussion of Jagr goes back to the discussion of Prucha. Heart, trying hard, desire, etc. I like them both, but it really doesn’t mean anything when the numbers aren’t adding up. I don’t want to pay millions to see Jagr skate pretty on the top line. If I’m Jagr… I’m staring down the barrel of retirement/kladnow right now. I mean… something is obviously missing. He’s trying harder than he might have ever been in NY, you can see it, yet he still is not producing much at all. It’s nice to see him bringing the best out of his linemates… but we HAVE GOT TO MOVE ON FROM THE JAROMIR JAGR ERA..HE’S A LAME DUCK FANS.

    Don’t worry, you will still be allowed to wear your #68 jersey.

  11. Adam and his Apple on

    totally going off in a different direction because really why waste our collective breaths on whether jagr leaves or doesnt leave, if he does he does, if he doesnt he doesnt, he doesnt pay our rent whats the big deal? haha ok anyway

    i dunno why people are saying the NHL should relax with the outdoors games, they are the only positive national media hyped thing the NHL has going for it

  12. Only thing bad about the outdoor game is the gameplay itself is bound to be pretty poor. You are just not going to get a “quality” playing surface on a one-off rink constructed on a ballfield.

    That said, it does get attention. And it almost makes me horny to know that the Rangers are pretty much a lock as one of the teams for the next one, and that it will likely be the LAST THROWDOWN EVER in the old Yankee Stadium. That is *beyond* awesome. It’s actually so awesome that I have a lot of doubts on it actually… way too cool of a thing for all parties to agree upon…probably wont come to fruition. most yankee fans will probably have much to say about it as well.

  13. *For some reason I envisioned Avery wearing nothing but a jockstrap with 25 $100 bills sticking out of it.* You made my day |Who Needs Lohan| I was thinking something similar, of Avery wearing so little that Sam would rather not think about it anymore. Or maybe some ugly green number in preparation for the upcoming St. Patty’s Day.

  14. Yankee fans have too much to say anyway. Why does it matter if the last event in Yankee Stadium is not a baseball game? It would be great (for them) if the last event there is a World Series win, but that’s just not gonna happen. Maybe they should postpone the All-Star Game until next season in the old stadium when the new one is already up. I would rather have a memorable last game (or event) in my stadium than a meaningless one, no matter what sport is played. Maybe they could get some rock concert there to help the implosion process.

  15. Who Needs Lohan on

    Yeah, just like Orr has the role of enforcer, or Betts as faceoff/PK specialist, or Prucha as benchwarmer, I feel that it is my role to make you guys laugh on this blog. I must admit myself, that was pretty funny. And moreso, very very believable!

  16. Who Needs Lohan (Clearly a Mets Fan) on

    Yeah, wouldnt a Yankee fan rather their stadium go out on a positive note, rather than a Division Series ending double play ball from Gay-Rod? Come on now….

  17. We’ve gone 10-0-3 in our last 13…most of which has been played under Jagr’s safe assumption that he won’t be hitting 84 points this year. Do we really want him making the final stretch making it all about him, going off his game, and having the team suffer as a result? I sure don’t.

    I don’t understand the fans who seem to think that the most important date on the hockey calendar is July 1st. April 1, May 1, and June 1 are a hell of a lot more significant. Let’s remember that.

  18. and not as funny though.

    only thing funny about that grotesque being is that he pissed on some chicks leg at a bar…

    that is one dude that should just shave and get a haircut, he might look a little more like a human and not a swamp dweller

  19. craptain pout on

    eff jagr and his selfish clique. the PP unit #1 is no good because the point men have to defer to him. the second PP unit is better because it shoots and plays real hockey

    Rosival is so whipped by jagr he passes to him when he rosival has a wide open shot.

    and the fact that coaching decisions are made to placate jagr is disgraceful.

    I hope they all sit on the couch together in prague and stay there for good.

  20. I hope the Rangers resign Rozsival and Avery in the off season. I hope Jagr comes back for a reasonable base salary with built in incentives…

  21. Jagr needs to come back — I won’t berate the people on here who think otherwise — after all, opinions are like arseholes.

    I will wait for that fateful day. And then that glaring hole will make itself quickly apparent.

    Here’s to a SICK PLAYOFFS — I CANNOT WAIT.

  22. I hate to tell people, but there will be a day when Jagr won’t be a Ranger. It’ll probably be over the summer, because he didn’t really sound like he was desperate to play here.

    We can throw out all the contract scenarios we want, but the truth is that Jagr is getting $8 million to play hockey right now, so the chances of him taking a $4- $5 million pay cut are slim to none, in my opinion.

    Those of you who think that this team can’t win another game without Jagr are greatly mistaken, I’m sorry to say. And if Sather built a team that can’t win without one player, he should be shot.

  23. Doodie Machetto on

    “If Lundqvist really needs a veteran back up to push him and motivate him, then he is never winning a stanley cup. He should be able to push and motivate himself. Sure it would help, but he needs to find his own motivation. Plus I think Vally does do that to a degree when Renney gives him a chance. Vally bailed henke out against Philly and had those 2 shutouts against them too along with a strong game against Washington. If Renney played him more, then he’d be that guy to push Henke even more if he needs it.”

    I never said anything about motivating. I said about improving.. Fact is, veteran players make younger players better. You will never see a team completely devoid of veterans. Hank, in my opinion, is a goaltender who can benefit from some veteran assistance.

  24. Boy Jagr doesn’t sound like his heart is with the Rangers…not even one comment of “I’d like to be a Ranger for a while longer”…sounds to me that it’s one of those ‘let’s just do what we need to do this year and I’ll move on after’…I’m not a huge Jagr fan, which isn’t entirely his fault, you can awe at his skill set, but he wasn’t drafted by us and will never be “true blue” captaincy or not, he’s not passionate enough on the ice or off to have that magnetisim that fans can pick up on…I mean Avery has been here exactly a year and he’s the fan favorite over Jagr who’s got 278 points in 234 games as a ranger…with him it’s either produce, win, or leave

  25. Whoever it was that said DP is the second-best puck handler among goalies behind Brodeur is dead wrong. Turco is and has been a far better puckhandler than DiPietro from the get-go.

    DP’s ego — “Look what I can do!” — costs him a lot more than it should. And if you think Nolan’s ripping him the other night came out of nowhere, forget it. It was clearly the frustration of a coach who has watched his selfish crap for almost two full seasons now. DP certainly handles the puck the most — but he ain’t close to handling it the best.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    Bathgate, you’re right, I overlooked Turco.

    As for DP’s puckhandling, I said he was second (now corrected for third) best skillwise, not decisionwise. I clearly stated he wasnt the smartest with the puck.

  27. Doodie

    I take your point, and agree that Lundqvist’s puck handling is sub-par, to be generous. But I choose him ten times out of ten over DP for two big reasons: He is technically more sound, and his temperment is far superior.

    Agravaine

    Late thank you for providing Orr’s playoff stats from yesterday.

  28. jumpedoffanf'nbridge on

    Found the worlds best post ever! Watched the highlights from that ATL Vs. CGY game, then checked the response from AJC.com.

    Good lord!

    “By Katie

    March 14, 2008 12:01 AM | Link to this

    BREAKING NEWS: If you sit in Sections 319 or 320 for hockey games at PHILIPS ARENA, it has now been additionally confirmed that you are indeed DUMBER THAN Michael Vick’s bleeding, VD-saturated rectum.”

  29. jumpedoffanf'nbridge on

    Just having read through the posts, and the press, and think a trend is clearly coming through the chatter…

    Sather has no reason, at this point, to sound anything other than confident in Jaromir Jagr, and assured of wanting him back.

    The Rangers are gearing up for a run in the playoffs, and Jagr will be expected to do what he has done in the later half of this season in the playoffs. If there is a chance that Jagr (pettulent and moody, very Czech) would be affected by management wavering on wanting him back then Sather would need to say what he did for strategic reasons.

    Whether or not he actually does want Jagr back depends in a very big way on how the Rangers do this year.

    If they make it to the conference finals, Sather can bring back almost the whole team, with the older players loosing some money, the younger players (avery, dawes, rozsival, ect) making more, while the older players miss a step, the younger ones take more than a step forward.

    If they make it just as far as they did list year, then its a toss up. Jagr, Straka, Shanahan could be back, but probably only one or at most two would be back, with a strong possibility of none being back.

    If they bow out in the first round, none of the three would likely be back. This is probably what Jagr has in mind. He understands that Sather may have more reasons to say what he did than actually wanting to resign him. If he were in that place, he wouldn’t resign himself if the Ranger’s don’t at least make the conference finals.

    Jagr may be thinking that he is playing for a contract, with the qualifier being a conference finals birth.

  30. Too bad it ends up being one of those games that won’t change the standings. Either way.

    Even tomorrow nights game really doesn’t either. Damn. So they’ve become pretty importnant games(the next 2). We need to keep pace with the top 5 teams.

  31. Next year all fo the focus needs to be on Drury & Gomez and how they will master the top 2 lines. I like that they found good linemates but lets be honest, with the right guys they can both score more. We need to worry about getting a big scoring winger to play with them.

    If Jagr comes back next year with a pay cut, he should basically start fading out of the picture slowly the same way other captains have done in the past. Look at Mike Modano in Dallas… they got Brad Richards and they have Mike Ribiero so they moved the Modano-Lehtinen down as their veteran 3rd line.

    Its not “first line or retirement” here…if he takes a pay cut he can make a pretty dam good 3rd scoring line. But either way, finding Drury & Gomez need to have big scoring wingers because they are the future of the team, not Jagr.

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