BOSTON – In 1990, Jaromir Jagr was the rookie right wing for a Pittsburgh Penguins club which was finally the team it was supposed to be after years of finishing low in the standings, gaining high draft positions, selecting top talent and making shrewd trades.
Jagr, a 1st round selection, 5th overall, in the 1990 draft, was one of those key moves. In his rookie campaign, he tallied 27 goals and 57 points in 80 games and a rating of -4 for the high-scoring Penguins. That season ended with a Stanley Cup Championship after a 4-2 series win against the Minnesota North Stars. To add to the stellar year, he was awarded the Calder Trophy honoring the League’s top rookie.
Season two was just as good for Jagr registering 32 goals and 37 points in 69 games and a rating of +12 for a team that looked unstoppable. The 1991-92 season ended the same way Jagr’s first one did, with a Stanley Cup, not bad for his first two seasons in the world’s top league.
After the 2000-01 season, though, things changed and Jagr sought to remove himself from playing in the shadow of captain Mario Lemieux. After 11 seasons, Jagr opted to sign with Washington to the largest contract in team history ($77 million over 7 years), a move the Capitals considered a franchise-altering acquisition. After just more than two season and substantive team success, Jagr was dealt to the New York Rangers for Anson Carter.
Jagr played four seasons in the Big Apple, but left after the 2007-08 season to play overseas. He suited up for Avangard Omsk of the KHL until 2001. That is when a number of teams, including his original club, expressed moderate interest in having Jagr return to the NHL.
Jagr chose to return to the NHL with a one-year deal, but this time he would be wearing Philadelphia black and orange instead of Pittsburgh black and gold. After a respectable season, he led the team in an upset of his original club before bowing to the eventual Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils.
In familiar process, Jagr entered free agency and then signed a one-year deal with Dallas Stars, a move viewed to make the Texas-based team competitive enough to make the playoffs. When the direction of the team went the way of their geographical location, Jagr was dealt along with many of his teammates.
Jagr’s landing spot was Boston as Bruins’ General Manager Peter Chiarelli needed a gifted scorer after having lost out on the courting of Calgary’s Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh. Chiarelli believed Jagr’s polished talent and veteran leadership would be the final piece to make the Bruins a true contender for the Cup.
During the 2013 season with Dallas, Jagr tallied 14 times in 34 games adding 12 assists and a -5 rating. After the trade to Boston, he scored 2 goals and 7 assists with +3 rating in eleven games. Despite Jagr having no goals and seven assists in 18 games with a +1 rating, the future Hall of Famer has much to contribute to this Bruins club.
Any player with 1589 career total games who scores 759 goals and 1,125 will have impact on his teammates. As the Bruins return home for game three, Boston is confident Jagr’s experience in big-game situations will help them overcome the challenges ahead. 2013 is likely Jaromir Jagr’s last shot at capturing the Stanley Cup and Boston fans are hopeful his burning desire to go out on top will lead them to a second championship in the last three years.
Game three is set for Monday night at the TD Bank Garden. The puck drops at 8:00 PM ET.
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