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01-31-2011, 12:09 PM
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Jaromir Jagr, RW

Legends of Hockey:
Even when he was an up-and-coming junior, the puck seemed magnetically drawn to Jaromir Jagr's stick. His size 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds makes the right winger tough to knock around, while his incredible touch, speed and creativity combine brilliantly to make him an almost unstoppable offensive force. His skills have propelled his teams, whether in the NHL or international play to titles and championships.
Hart Trophy Voting Record
1995 - 2nd. 27 of a possible 75 voting points.
1995-96 - 4th. 156 of a possible 540 voting points.
1997-98 - 2nd to Dominik Hasek. 308 of a possible 540 voting points..
1998-99 - 1st. 543 of a possible 560 votes.
1999-00 - 2nd. 395 of a possible 580 voting points.
2000-01 - 3rd. 210 of a possible 620 voting points.
2005-06 - 2nd. 974 of a possible 1290 voting points.

Post-Season All-Star Spots
1994-95 NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1995-96 NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1996-97 NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1997-98 NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1998-99 NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1999-00 NHL All-Star Team (1st)
2000-01 NHL All-Star Team (1st)
2005-06 NHL All-Star Team (1st)

Stanley Cup: 1991, 1992

From 1995-2001, Jaromir Jagr scored 760 points - 24% more than the second highest scorer over those years! 498 of those points came at even strength, 32% more than the second highest scorer over this time.

Over the span of his NHL career (1990-91 to 2007-08), Jagr scored 1599 points, 9% more than the second highest total over this time. 1051 of those points came at even strength, 22% more than the second highest total over this time.

Over the span of his NHL career (1990 to 2007-08), Jagr was +275, the highest total of any forward over that time. This despite the fact that with Jagr off the ice, his teams were slightly below average (0.97 GF/GA ratio at even strength).

Clutch goal scorer - 112 GWG (2nd all-time) and 15 overtime goals (t-1st all-time).

Outside the NHL

1998 Olympic Gold Medal
2005 World Championship Gold Medal and Tournament All-Star (note: this was during the lockout, where the NHL playoffs did not prevent any players from participating)
2010 World Championship Gold Medal
Golden Hockey Stick (an award given to the top Czech ice hockey player): 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

In 1989-90, Jagr played for HC Kladno at the age of 17. He finished 8th in goals, 5th in assists, and 7th in points in Czechoslovakia. Jagr returned to Kladno during the 1994 and 2004-05 lockouts. In 1994, he scored 22 points in 11 games, and in 2004 he scored 28 points in 17 games. Jagr also played for Avangard Omsk during the 2004-05 lockout, and led them to the IIHF European Champions Cup.

Quotes from the SI Vault over Jagr's career

Jon Scher, SI, 1992:
Unlike Gretzky, Lemieux will have the opportunity to school his own successor. He has seen the future of hockey, and its first name, Jaromir, is an anagram for Mario Jr. Jagr, a 20-year-old from Czechoslovakia who joined the Penguins in 1990, scored 32 goals this season, but he didn't truly open up his bag of tricks until Lemieux was injured in the second game of the Patrick Division finals against the Rangers. Since then, he has scored fabulous goal after fabulous goal. Just watching him carry the puck can be a thrill. In Game 1 of the finals he faked and juked his way past three Blackhawks before calmly delivering a backhand shot that tied the score 4-4 late in the third period. "Inexcusable," fumed Keenan. "The greatest goal I've ever seen," gushed Lemieux.
E.M. Swift, SI, 1992:
Screaming down the right wing, his long dark hair flopping behind his helmet, the lefthanded-shooting Jagr would time and again beat both defensemen like a pair of rented mules.

"He's a different type of player than the league has seen in a long time," says Scotty Bowman, who coached the Penguins last season and is now the team's director of player development and recruitment. "He has a lot of Frank Mahovlich in him. His skating style and strength make him almost impossible to stop one-on-one. A lot of big guys play with their sticks tight to their bodies and don't use that reach to their advantage like Jaromir does."


In style, though, Jagr is something much different from Lemieux. "When Mario gets the puck, he's always thinking, Where can I put it?" says Bowman. "He'll pass the puck off and get himself in a better situation to score than he was in. When Jaromir gets the puck, he's always thinking, Where can I go with it? He reminds me of Maurice Richard in that way. They both played the off-wing, and both had so many moves I don't think either knew which moves they were going to do until they did them. Totally unpredictable."
Gerry Callahan, SI, 1995:
"They've got different styles, but Jagr does remind you of Mario in a lot of ways," says Penguin wing Kevin Stevens, who is sidelined with a fractured left ankle. "He's got the same kind of presence on the ice."

"When you're sitting on the bench, it's just like it was with Mario," says Cullen. "You watch. You can't help. You know Yaggs can get the puck and just take over the game. You don't want to miss it."

Jagr might be, among other things, the best one-armed player in the game today. The trend in the NHL toward more clutching and grabbing may slow down some slick-skating Europeans, but not Jagr, who is 6'2" and 208 pounds. He actually seems to enjoy the challenge of handling the puck while carrying a couple of passengers. "He should practice with a 100-pound dummy strapped to his back," says Penguin center Shawn McEachern, "because that's the way he has to play in the games."

Johnston has increased Jagr's ice time this season by putting him on the first power-play unit and allowing him to kill penalties. According to the coach, people are missing something when they attribute all of Jagr's success to his size and natural abilities. There is a pretty good mind under all that hair, says Johnston.

"He knows the game better than anyone on the team," says the coach. "He's very smart out there. He knows the little things, things you can't teach. He knows how to play the angles and how to protect the puck. You know where he got that, don't you?"

From his brilliant coaches on the Penguins?

"From Mario."
Michael Farber, SI, 1996:
Of course the NHL could invent other categories for Jagr, besides best-tressed. Best one-on-one player: Jagr. There are faster forwards who might embarrass a defenseman with their speed, but no one plays one-on-one in traffic the way he does. Best combination of skill and strength: Jagr again. The 6'2", 215-pound Czech is the first man to combine the traditional European attributes of slickness, nimble feet and goal scorer's hands with lower-body strength, allowing him to fend off checks and protect the puck. "He's a gorilla, strong as a horse," Penguins coach Ed Johnston says, offering his own vision of Jagr as a crossbreed. "I don't know anybody who's stronger on his skates."

Michael Farber, SI, 1999:
Last month Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Denis Savard proclaimed Jagr "the best player in the game by a million miles," as if the subject were as closed as a team meeting.


"Jaromir should get a cut of every contract of everyone who plays with him before signing a new deal because half the money they're getting is due to him," Constantine says, despite his occasional differences with his star. "He makes it tricky for this organization. We have to ask ourselves how good the guy is. Is he good because he plays with Jagr? Not taking anything anyway from Marty Straka, who's a helluva player, but none of the guys Jaromir plays with have a time-tested history of being major talents." There is no one riding shotgun for Jagr the way Joe Sakic does for Forsberg, John LeClair does for Lindros or Selanne does for Kariya. Pittsburgh has several forwards with a clue, but it also has more extras than there were in Titanic.


"There are probably four ways to play Jagr, all of them wrong," Montreal assistant coach Dave King says. "He's the toughest player in hockey to devise a game plan against."
Michael Farber, SI, 2000:
With 32 goals and 39 assists in 39 games through Sunday, Jagr was close to a 150-point pace and was leading the league in both categories, something not achieved outright since Wayne Gretzky did it 13 years ago. Night after night Jagr finds not only open ice but also the inherent joy of his sport. He dances and dazzles, getting seven points against the hapless New York Islanders in one game, derailing the powerful Detroit Red Wings with a goal and an assist in the next, and, in the match after that, twisting New Jersey Devils checker Claude Lemieux into a pretzel by putting the puck through Lemieux's legs at the Penguins' blue line and creating a three-on-two. Jagr, with sturdy haunches that make him all but impossible to bump off the puck, puts on That '80s Show for almost 82 games a season. He's setting hockey back more than 10 years.

"The game in the 1980s was played with the puck," Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Glenn Healy says. "In the '90s it became a game of often willingly losing possession, of dumping the puck in and moving the battle to other areas, such as behind the net and in the corners. Jagr is an '80s player because he holds on to the puck and tries to make plays. He won't give it up until there is absolutely no other play, which isn't often, because he has the ability to make something out of nothing, even a one-on-three. As a goalie you're always aware of Jagr's presence on the ice."

Jagr's scoring rampage in an era of constipated hockey has ended debate about who is the NHL's best player. "With no disrespect to the other guys," says New Jersey defenseman Ken Daneyko, a 15-year veteran, "you've got [Eric] Lindros, [Paul] Kariya, [Teemu] Selanne and [Peter] Forsberg here, and Jagr head and shoulders above them, up there." That assessment was implicitly endorsed by Gretzky last April when he blessed Jagr with a private word during the Great One's retirement ceremony. "Maybe that's why I play good right now," Jagr said last week, his face crinkling in merriment as he sat at his locker. "I don't want to make Wayne a liar."

Kostya Kennedy, SI, 2000:
When SI asked NHL coaches in September, "Who is the best all-around player in the world?" 19 of the 26 respondents named Penguins right wing Jaromir Jagr. The other seven coaches fell into one of those hard-to-figure minorities, like the one dentist in five who does not recommend sugarless gum for his patients who chew gum.
Michael Farber, SI, 2006:
You can rhapsodize about the casual excellence of the Detroit Red Wings or the explosiveness of the Ottawa Senators, but the ideal jumping-off point for the 2006 NHL playoffs, and there is just no getting around it, figuratively and often literally, is Jaromir Jagr's booty. His derriere is large enough to cause a lunar eclipse, J. Lo-esque in its amplitude and wondrously utilitarian. When he is parked at the right half boards on the power play, Jagr can turn his formidable backside--"You can hang a license plate off it," New York Rangers coach Tom Renney marvels--and protect the puck for five, 15 or however many seconds he chooses until he spots a vacant passing lane or identifies a moment when he can easily wheel to the net. His rhythm. His whim. The game and, to some extent, the playoffs proceed at the discretion of a 6'3", 245-pound right wing with impossibly thick haunches, a player who is the NHL's top scorer since 1990 and whom New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur calls the best he has ever faced.
Adjusted Stats

Jaromir Jagr was arguably as good a scorer as Mario Lemieux at even strength.

Adjusted Even Strength Points per season during prime (First 10 modern forwards drafted)
Year GP Player $ESP/82 $PPP/82
81-88 617 Wayne Gretzky 119 48
88-01 573 Mario Lemieux 100 63
94-01 575 Jaromir Jagr 99 45
68-75 613 Phil Esposito 86 60
75-82 579 Guy Lafleur 84 44
87-94 604 Steve Yzerman 77 32
79-86 616 Mike Bossy 75 39
78-85 600 Bryan Trottier 72 33
89-97 625 Mark Messier 64 34
72-79 623 Bobby Clarke 63 35
The adjustment is to a league scoring level of 200 even strength goals per team per season. The power play adjusted points are also included - those are adjusted to a league scoring level of 70 power play goals per team per season, and to a league-average number of power play opportunities.

Lemieux was a much better scorer on the power play and shorthanded. And his numbers would have been better if he had been healthy more often. But at even strength, Jagr was just as productive during their respective primes.

Note that other players in this list are not all directly comparable to Jagr, some had more defensive roles and contributions. This list should not be taken as a definitive ranking of even strength performance.

Last edited by overpass: 02-06-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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