May 26, 2015


NHL

Czech star taking shot with Stars

Jagr leaves Philadelphia for one-year, $4.5-M deal with Dallas

JAROMIR Jagr could be the next big thing in Texas.

The unpredictable winger landed in another unexpected destination and the Dallas Stars couldn't be happier to have him. They plucked the future Hall of Famer off the free-agent market with a US$4.55-million, one-year deal.

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images archives
 Jaromir Jagr arrives in Dallas with big expectations after the 40-year-old forward scored 54 points as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers last season after a three-year hiatus in Russia.

POSTMEDIA GETTY IMAGES

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images archives Jaromir Jagr arrives in Dallas with big expectations after the 40-year-old forward scored 54 points as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers last season after a three-year hiatus in Russia.

"I think this is a bit of a watershed moment," Stars owner Tom Gagliardi told The Canadian Press on Tuesday night. "I think it's an important day for our franchise. We've always been a destination for great players and players that want to have a chance to win and I think this is really just an endorsement for the direction I think we're heading in."

Even at age 40, Jagr arrives with big expectations after putting together a 54-point season in Philadelphia following a three-year hiatus in Russia. He had a number of suitors and was won over by an aggressive pitch from the Stars.

They plan to give No. 68 a prime-time role.

"I don't think there's any question he still has (gas) in the tank," said Dallas general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. "He had a terrific season last year with Philadelphia. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with him yesterday and it was really refreshing to hear his outlook on where he's at with his game and the passion he still has for it and the work ethic that he has to put into it.

"He's still a world-class player."

The 6-foot-3 Czech has built a career on keeping both opponents and hockey observers guessing.

Many thought Jagr had played his last NHL game when he signed in the KHL with Avangard Omsk in 2008. However, he ended up returning to North America last summer, stunning many by signing with the Flyers after going through a lengthy public courtship with Pittsburgh.

Few, if any, predicted he would end up in Dallas after becoming a free agent again on Sunday.

"He's a guy that's up for challenges," said Nieuwendyk. "He's done so much in his career that I think he views this as a challenge."

In two other notable deals, Colorado kept defenceman Erik Johnson thanks to a $15 -million, four-year deal and New Jersey retained defenceman Bryce Salvador with a $9.5-million, three-year contract.

There are a number of parallels to the situation Jagr just left. After having a chance to play alongside budding NHL star Claude Giroux in Philadelphia, he could now find himself lining up with Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson -- at least that's how Nieuwendyk currently has Jagr pencilled in on the depth chart inside his office.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 4, 2012 D2

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 26 12:30 am

Smoke reported in cockpit: passengers safe wfp.to/RJY

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 11:12 pm

Threats to 6 international flights cause scare wfp.to/RJu

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 11:06 pm

Volunteers reflect soccer world wfp.to/RJm

Paul Samyn | @PaulSamyn

May 25 10:55 pm

For the love of the beautiful game on Tuesday's front page of @WinnipegNews pic.twitter.com/A4PAlI0cRX

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 8:56 pm

Owner of Melita auction mart plans to rebuild after fire destroyed building wfp.to/RJP

Scroll down to load more

Top