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08-05-2011, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Originally Posted by
Great players who still dominate their sport when they are close to 40 are rare in those sports too. They're the exception to the rule.
Everything I wrote disappeared.
However I do agree with the fact that players who are closer to their 40's who still dominate their sport are rare.
Jagr is not Gretzky or Lemieux, he is however the closest to them in the last 20 years. We can all agree he's a step ahead of Selanne, Hull, Francis, Messier, Oates...
I'm confident that had Gretzky and Lemieux not had the chronic back problems that plagued them for most of the 90's, they would most likely have topped the list of players who had over PPG at ages 38, 39 40 +.
Jagr on the other hand has no recent history of chronic injuries.
Some of you guys are underrating the importance of conditioning and training in the NHL, especially for players who are closer to 40. Jagr might have to train a bit harder than the average 25 year old now, but that will to train and stay in shape can only help Jagr. He's motivated, he's fresh and he's in peak physical shape.
All the arguments going against Jagr scoring at a PPG pace are flawed.
1. He's 39 and Selanne is an outlier. This is flawed because although Selanne had one of the better seasons ever for a 40 year old, we have seen a list of players who were 38, 39, 40 who had just as impressive seasons as Selanne and this is just 1991 until now alone. Selanne also for 95% of his career was just a tad level lower. Selanne was never considered the best player in the NHL, Jagr was for a long time and just as recently as 2005-06. Selanne also has had several injuries including a chronic knee injury that has plagued him in the last 10 years and that knee injury threatened to end his career if not for the lockout saving his career.
2. The KHL is a far weaker league. Yes this is true but it is also the second best league in the world. This very league saw guys like Lecavalier, Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Datsyuk struggle there during the lockout only to be superstars the following season. The league is also vastly different than the NHL and is stingier on offensive players ever more so than the NHL. It might not be as physical but the lack of clean officiating and anti-obstruction rules make it very hard on offensive players. It's very much similar to a toned down version of the no-holds barred 70's of the NHL. Goons make a living there and if you think star players aren't protected in the NHL, go look at the KHL. The KHL also has a different culture of hockey. There is far less focus on individual performances than in the NHL and Jagr was not immune to this. He never really set any personal goals to lead the KHL in scoring. Jagr's size and strength will also make it that he can still handle more physicality than 90% of the league.
3. The NHL has passed Jagr by and the speed is too much for Jagr to handle. This is very wrong. Jagr has trimmed down and is now 225 lbs as opposed to 245 lbs that he was the last time he was in the NHL. In the KHL he had to refocus himself to skate and play a speed oriented game. He himself says he finds it harder to score in the KHL than the NHL. He couldn't play along the boards and there if you beat one guy, you have to beat another guy. You can just rip shots like in the NHL. Jagr however was not slow and kept up very well with some of the younger, fast Russians and Europeans. He did get 51 Pts in 49 games (was one of only 8 players with PPG in the KHL). We have already discussed how the KHL benefits a certain type of player more, the smaller finesse players like Morozov and Radulov (why do you think Radulov doesn't want to return to the NHL?). The NHL benefits skilled but big, strong players more. Jagr is the perfect example.
These are some of the arguments I've heard and they are flawed. I'm not saying my opinion is better than everyone else's, but my opinion comes from knowing Jagr and knowing what he can still do at this age.
He might not get more than 100 Pts, but his skill set and his renewed speed and dedication to fitness means that the chances of Jagr getting 75-95 Pts are not as impossible as some are making it out to be.
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