ESPN/TSN hockey analyst Pierre LeBrun reports Jaromir Jagr has agreed to a one-year contract with the New Jersey Devils. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of the Czech Republic had linked Jagr to the Devils, so this probably doesn’t come as a surprise for most fans. The deal will reportedly be officially announced tomorrow. He earned a base salary of $4.5 million last season split between the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins, but probably won’t get that much from the Devils.
While he’s still very strong along the boards and remains a slick playmaker, Jagr’s skills are in decline, especially his speed. He had a respectable 35 points in 45 regular season games last season, plus 10 assists in 22 playoff games, but it’s obvious time is catching up with Jagr, one of the all-time great forwards in hockey history.
He had decent numbers in 73 games in 2011-12 with the Philadelphia Flyers (19 goals, 50 points), but that was two seasons ago.Devils fans should keep their expectations realistic.
It’ll be interesting to see how well he fits into the Devils system, especially over the grind of an 82-game schedule. Jagr won’t replace the skills of the departed Ilya Kovalchuk, but if he can contribute 40-45 points, that would be a significant contribution for a former superstar in the twilight of his career.