Jagr to Red Wings? Let the trade rumors commence!

The hockey season has officially ended and the rumors of signings are already flying around. NHLHS Correspondent Christina Roberts gives her take on the discussions of Jaromir Jagr coming to Detroit.

It’s officially the off-season, which means it’s officially time to start the crazy rumors of big name players signing with teams that don’t always make the most sense. Example: Marian Hossa signing a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings. How much crazier can you get? Oh wait…

Ever since Jaromir Jagr had a hat trick in the 2011 World Championships, the rumors have been flying around about Jagr coming back to the NHL and which teams were attempting to pursue him, the main ones including his ex-teams, the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, along with the Montreal Canadiens.

But now it’s been reported that Jagr’s agent has reached out and contacted the Red Wings. All Ken Holland has said in response is that yes, he has been contacted and is exploring the idea. He wouldn’t be Ken Holland if he said anything more.

By this point, I don’t need to tell you the draws of Detroit and how many veterans have gotten a first, second, third chance to make it to the Stanley Cup and taken that “Detroit discount” to play here (Dallas Drake, Mike Modano to name a few recent ones). Is Jagr this year’s Modano, with the “media circus” following his moves and the pursuing teams during the off-season?

The question really is: Is signing the 39-year-old who hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2007-2008 season worth it for the Red Wings?

The comment has been made in past seasons that Detroit’s roster needs to get younger, not older, and signing these veterans doesn’t really help that. But when they come to the team, more often than not, they do produce. Before Modano went out last season with the fluke wrist injury, he had seven points in as many games and was finally finding his groove with the team.

Jagr could easily do the same thing. In his 82 games with the Rangers back in the 2007-2008 season, he had 25 goals and 71 points. Even in the KHL, he was almost a point-per-game player, which is pretty good considering his age. Jagr is also known for being able to hold onto the puck; he would fit well onto the puck possession-focused Red Wings team. Just imagine him on a third line with Jiri Hudler and Darren Helm. Or Justin Abdelkader and Valtteri Filppula.

But there are drawbacks, as there are with any player. Of course, he hasn’t played in an NHL game since 2008, so his pretty good offensive numbers could have easily slipped. And, of course, his age is a factor. Jagr is no Nicklas Lidstrom (heck, no one is Lidstrom) and it’s tough to say whether his age will catch up to him at any point in the season. Are these factors enough of a risk to prevent a one-year deal?

If the Red Wings can get him for fairly cheap and know he can produce offensively and be an asset for this team, I think it would be a smart signing. Then again, it’s all up to Holland and the coaching staff.

Christina Roberts
NHLHS Detroit Red Wings Correspondent
Twitter: @franzenmuth
Email: christina.roberts@nhlhotstove.com