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08-10-2010, 09:00 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
I have to say I'm very surprised by that. I remember Jagr as being pretty much unquestioned as the best forward in the game during Lemieux's hiatus. What conclusion did said story come to?
It was early 1998 if I remember correctly. January, February 1998 maybe. The conclusion was Jagr. Keep in mind, Selanne finished 2nd in points in 1997 to Lemieux (although Jagr was injured 20 games). This was midway through the 1997-'98 season. Selanne is having a great year sans Kariya and it was becoming glaring to everyone that he was truly the better player between the two although in the summer of 1997 I think people would have said Kariya.

Hard to believe but Jagr didn't get a lot of respect at that time. He had Mario before him and during 1998 there was still Francis who many felt fed him a lot of his points. As silly as it sounds the idea among some was that Jagr needed a great center to succeed. I think after he won the Art Ross in 1998 rather comfortably and then won it again in 1999 with one hand tied behind his back did people finally start to give him the respect he deserved. No one was in Jagr's category by then and everyone knew that. But in January 1998? Well, there were still some doubts. Jagr was still deemed to be better though

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