Jaromir Jagr has left the Rangers and the NHL for Avangard Omsk.
I don’t know if it’s the spin of Rangers’ GM Glen Sather, but while the conventional wisdom held the Rangers weren’t trying to get anything done with Jagr, Sather is saying Jagr never responded to Ranger offers to stay in New York.
Now part of that could be Jagr’s belief the most respected member of the team should also make the most money. The Rangers didn’t have the cap space to give Jagr that kind of respect.
Jagr also figured out he didn’t get a big money offer from the Rangers because of his inability to mesh with either of last season’s big acquisitions (Scott Gomez and Chris Drury). Not that the elderly Markus Naslund is the answer there either.
In fact, the Rangers still have some big question marks in their line-up. There are still no big bodies to set-up in front of the net. There’s still no shut-down defenseman. There’s still no real speed on the wings (as far as we know; some of the Ranger players are so young, their games are still relatively undeveloped).
In fact, for all of the talk about how disappointing Jagr’s season was last year, I don’t know that this season’s version of the Rangers, as it stands now, will be appreciably better. Two elite centers, with no one to play with, might not be the best way to win the Cup. Especially in light how what Detroit did playing a five-man offense and defense.
I didn’t expect Jagr to return to Pittsburgh, if for no other reason than the fans despise him and I don’t think he’d be popular in a return. I thought he might try the Oilers, but apparently no one wants to live in Edmonton. Maybe Chris Pronger spoke to him.