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Why has Jaromir Jagr bounced around the NHL?

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Old
12-27-2016, 12:29 AM
  #1
Michael Whiteacre
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Why has Jaromir Jagr bounced around the NHL?

Here is Mario Lemieux's sidekick during their Stanley Cup championship runs in the early 1990s and also part of the early 2000s before Jagr quit on the team during his final season due to a feud with Ivan Hlinka (Pittsburgh's coach at the time) and the returning Mario Lemieux from a three-year hiatus due to his retirement in 1997. Pittsburgh did in fact come close to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2001, but they had to deal with the New Jersey Devils spearheaded by Patrik Elias, Alexander Mogilny, Brian Rafalski, Petr Sykora, Sergei Brylin, Scott Stevens, John Madden, Scott Niedermayer, Randy McKay, Martin Brodeur, Jason Arnott, Bobby Holik and Colin White in the 2001 Cup Finals en route to a matchup with the eventual Stanley Cup champions the Colorado Avalanche.

After 2000-01, Jagr was dealt to the Washington Capitals. Some say the Pens have had enough of Jagr's bad attitude and moody disposition, and that Mario Lemieux should take back the Pens because his sidekick and supposed eventual successor heir apparent to the throne shuts down easy in the NHL playoffs. Others say Pittsburgh (despite Mario holding ownership of the team) was going to be sold because trading away Jagr set the Pens out of the playoffs until 2006-07, by which they now have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as their new top superstars with Jordan Staal, Ryan Whitney and veterans Sergei Gonchar and late 1980s/early 1990s Penguins player Mark Recchi complementing the two, and also Pittsburgh was under the guise of being unable to afford to keep Jagr around.

The man was incredible during his time here but toward the end he sure seemed like a selfish diva that didn't really care about team success and would flame out and end up being remembered as a guy who was dominant for a while but not really Hall of Fame material. That continued after he became overpaid with the Capitals since he got a seven-year contract extension, and Jagr failed to carry Washington to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance after 1997-98 during the two and a half years he was in DC. Jagr went from having 120+ points per game season to around the 70-79 point mark because he wasn't trying, and grew even more lazy as a performer. Washington cut ties with Jagr when they traded him to the N.Y. Rangers midway through 2003-04 since the overpaid veterans weren't working out for them. I am not sure if Jagr was still an arrogant brat while he was with the New York Rangers, but he was back to trying to play hard on the ice and score 70-120 points per game, especially in 2005-06.

Jagr then went back to the KHL and Russia from 2008-09 to 2010-11 because he wanted to start growing up altogether and sort some personality issues out, to become the awesome grizzled class act of a veteran he is today. And even though Jagr was supposed to come back to the Penguins for 2011-12 before spurning them in favor of more money with the Philadelphia Eagles for one year. Jagr's second stint with the NHL would eventually see him passed around the league like a Mike Sillinger-esque journeyman for short-term stints with Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, New Jersey and now Florida has become his fourth long-term home after Pittsburgh, New York and Washington, except Sillinger lacked the monster talents that Jagr had in the 1990s, 2000s and the 2010s.

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12-27-2016, 12:35 AM
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According to Ryan Whitney a couple nights ago on TV he has never been well liked anywhere he ever played.

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12-27-2016, 12:39 AM
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BenchBrawl
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According to Ryan Whitney a couple nights ago on TV he has never been well liked anywhere he ever played.
Source?

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12-27-2016, 12:40 AM
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Michael Whiteacre
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According to Ryan Whitney a couple nights ago on TV he has never been well liked anywhere he ever played.
@CanCHI Then how come Florida was raving about Jagr as a class act veteran mentor to the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck? If Ryan Whitney said that Jagr was never truly liked anywhere he ever played, how does Ryan Whitney know about Jagr's personal issues?

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12-27-2016, 12:42 AM
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Darth Yoda
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He is crazy by most standards excluding the medical experts. One could say cool, but some might say no to that.

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12-27-2016, 12:45 AM
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Michael Whiteacre
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He is crazy by most standards excluding the medical experts.
@Darth Yoda How is Jagr considered to be crazy? The positive things that you see of him today are his working hard in practice tirelessly, and being a decent mentor to Florida's young stars, and he's actually taking care of himself, fitness-wise and dietary-wise.

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12-27-2016, 01:00 AM
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the edler
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He didn't bounce around that much in the beginning of his career, it's more as a twilight veteran player he bounced around.

As for his personality he seems kinda like a Czech goofy semi-aloof hockey nerd loner diva type of guy.

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12-27-2016, 01:01 AM
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@Darth Yoda How is Jagr considered to be crazy? The positive things that you see of him today are his working hard in practice tirelessly, and being a decent mentor to Florida's young stars, and he's actually taking care of himself, fitness-wise and dietary-wise.
He talks and acts in mysterious ways. Sometimes he is loyal, sometimes not.
Disapppeared in Washington for no good reason.
Seems to be a born again christian.
Goes to the KHL all of a sudden becouse of culture, while he wears #68 becouse it was when the czechs stood up against Russia. This shows that he can think above political history.
Chose the Flyers amongst all teams when he came back becouse of Crosby and Malkin being left hand shots, and possibly becouse of a higher salary although he had said that it would not be a factor.
One thing i will never get off my retina is during the i believe last Olympics he came bicyling down to the arena on his own wearing jeans. While this could be perceived as normal, no one else did it. Most did not use the bicycles at all and those who did came in groups and wearing suits.
Sometimes a persons personal life tells you something and Jagr is a guy that does not seem very anxious to settle down even at this age, prefering to hang out with czech models half his age.
Saying he needs to stay in shape to not become "fat and ugly".


Last edited by Darth Yoda: 12-27-2016 at 01:25 AM.
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12-27-2016, 01:08 AM
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BenchBrawl
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He has no family of his own (meaning children, not parents) and he is witnessing the loss of his powers and the inevitable end to the most important structure he had in his life (professional hockey).If Jagr quits playing hockey, he looks like someone who faces a scary void.

Sure, I'm talking out of my ass and this is highly speculative, and not everyone is a family man and for many that's a fine life, I get all that.But somehow, this is my intuition about the guy.I wish him well regardless.

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12-27-2016, 01:23 AM
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He can go wherever he wants basically and Jags has pretty much always been a weird duck anyway. His career trajectory and choices do not surprise me one bit. Actually anything he does doesn't really surprise me anymore.

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12-27-2016, 01:36 AM
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As for his personality he seems kinda like a Czech goofy semi-aloof hockey nerd loner diva type of guy.
Oh, that type!

I think Jagr is probably entirely normal, by 90% of people's standards. He's just not normal by pro-hockey (esp. North American) standards. Which is probably fine with him, as he likely knows there are things outside of pro-hockey.

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12-27-2016, 01:42 AM
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He was a cancer in his early days and his later days is just a mercenary playing for whoever gives him the most.

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12-27-2016, 02:04 AM
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Terry Yake
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there's no one like jagr

the fact that he's now viewed as a hockey god is pretty funny to me because it really wasn't that long ago that he was dying alive in pittsburgh and viewed as a prima dona and uncoachable. that, along with the gambling thing really wrecked his reputation from the late 90s-mid 2000s

once he got to NY his rep finally began to improve and here we are now in 2016 and he's still going strong at 44 while most people have completely forgotten about his past. the fact that he's bounced around since he came back to the NHL really isn't surprising because he's always been an odd guy, he does things his way

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12-27-2016, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
He talks and acts in mysterious ways. Sometimes he is loyal, sometimes not.
Disapppeared in Washington for no good reason.
Seems to be a born again christian.
Goes to the KHL all of a sudden becouse of culture, while he wears #68 becouse it was when the czechs stood up against Russia. This shows that he can think above political history.
Chose the Flyers amongst all teams when he came back becouse of Crosby and Malkin being left hand shots, and possibly becouse of a higher salary although he had said that it would not be a factor.
One thing i will never get off my retina is during the i believe last Olympics he came bicyling down to the arena on his own wearing jeans. While this could be perceived as normal, no one else did it. Most did not use the bicycles at all and those who did came in groups and wearing suits.
Sometimes a persons personal life tells you something and Jagr is a guy that does not seem very anxious to settle down even at this age, prefering to hang out with czech models half his age.
Saying he needs to stay in shape to not become "fat and ugly".
The bolded things are in fact super-normal.

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12-27-2016, 09:54 AM
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Simple, he chases the money. Bad financial decisions will lead to that.

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12-27-2016, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by BenchBrawl View Post
He has no family of his own (meaning children, not parents) and he is witnessing the loss of his powers and the inevitable end to the most important structure he had in his life (professional hockey).If Jagr quits playing hockey, he looks like someone who faces a scary void.

Sure, I'm talking out of my ass and this is highly speculative, and not everyone is a family man and for many that's a fine life, I get all that.But somehow, this is my intuition about the guy.I wish him well regardless.
We all are talking out of our butts here, but this does make sense to me.

He's not a twenty-something anymore, let alone a teenager, so he can probably see the end and nothing else beyond that. As someone who's already been through ups and downs, he probably knows that nothing to do usually spills over into doing something stupid.

Some say money, but he could earn more in Russia, so there must be something behind this. Me thinks he knows he could have done better now that he's way worse than just "not that good anymore". For once, I think this guy knows he will never be as good at anything as he is at hockey and he probably wants to leave a mark on the history of the game wherever he can.

I'd say Jagr is chasing records, not money, but I could be wrong.

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12-27-2016, 11:53 AM
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^^^ perhaps... just wildly guessing really as I dont believe anyone here knows the guy, has had conversations with him so any of our assessments are all going to be superficial at best.... and as such, based on what Ive seen & read about him over the years I think he's just one of those outliers that will continue to play (maybe even to 50 if he can pull it off) so long as he can contribute & play effectively, body still capable. The gambling, chasing skirt thats nearly half his age, rather indicative of where his heads at no? Aging Lothario, hockey keeps him young, happy, healthy & wealthy. Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood type Syndrome though nowhere near as extreme... quite yet.... frankly it wouldnt surprise me if I read in a few years that he's still playing, signed another extension with Traktor Chelyabinsk or whomever at 68 and that his 23 year old Bride is expecting their 1st child.... yeah.... type a guy who then wouldnt even feel the least bit self conscious in attending the kids High School Graduation at 85.... shows up with a Mullet.

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12-27-2016, 11:54 AM
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I've read somewhere that he has a serious gambling problem. Other than that he seems to be a true lover of hockey. I say we cherish his remaining playing days.

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12-27-2016, 11:59 AM
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I always got the impression it was an ice-time sort of thing. Am I misremembering the New Jersey departure?


Also, be extra careful about libel in case you go for a juicier answer.

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12-27-2016, 02:06 PM
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...Aging Lothario, hockey keeps him young, happy, healthy & wealthy.
That's another thing, right? It's a bit like the first HS reunion unless you follow suit. They're just 26, but they talk career, promotions, vacations, some even family. And there you are, still in your baggy pants, half-awkward, half-proud. Planning another trip nowhere but all around.

Jagr has been seeing them all retire. His idols first. His friends and rivals and teammates and then contemporaries. And then even his juniors. And he saw them all getting old in 12 months. Old, bald, fat and totally useless, really. Handing something somewhere to someone with a camera smile for all. Given that Jagr is a big child, I can see nothing all that enticing about hanging them up for him.

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12-27-2016, 02:17 PM
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In his first 18 years in the NHL, Jagr moved teams only twice, and the first time was directly a result of Pittsburgh's near-bankruptcy situation at the time.

He's bounced around from age 39-44, but this is an age where none of his peers were even in the league anymore.

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12-27-2016, 02:22 PM
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If he retired for good in 2008 he would have only been on three teams over 18 years. That's fine. And bouncing around in his later years is not uncommon. Lots of stars did it when they got older. Oates, Gilmour, Coffey come to mind immediately. Anyone judge Coffey's career post 1996? Or does anyone remember Oates as an Oiler? We barely remember him as a Duck despite the fact he led the team in postseason scoring when they reached the final.

Jagr was always an enigma. This is nothing new. He's like the Johnny Depp of hockey that way. No one can understand him. You might not want to. But he does his craft well. The thing is, early in Mario's career he was always the enigma as well, and then when he retired and came back in 2000 he was the more mature type while Jagr was still thought to be the enigma.

The fact that he was so difficult to understand might be a reason why many of us delay putting him as high as the likes of Beliveau, Richard or Hull on all-time lists. He was a little unpredictable at times. It's nitpicking a bit because when he was "on" he was unstoppable but you always did worry about any sort of mood swing. My guess is Jagr himself is laughing at being thought of as a "grandpa" type among NHL players now. It doesn't suit him very well does it?

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12-27-2016, 03:09 PM
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If he retired for good in 2008 he would have only been on three teams over 18 years. That's fine. And bouncing around in his later years is not uncommon. Lots of stars did it when they got older. Oates, Gilmour, Coffey come to mind immediately. Anyone judge Coffey's career post 1996? Or does anyone remember Oates as an Oiler? We barely remember him as a Duck despite the fact he led the team in postseason scoring when they reached the final.

Jagr was always an enigma. This is nothing new. He's like the Johnny Depp of hockey that way. No one can understand him. You might not want to. But he does his craft well. The thing is, early in Mario's career he was always the enigma as well, and then when he retired and came back in 2000 he was the more mature type while Jagr was still thought to be the enigma.

The fact that he was so difficult to understand might be a reason why many of us delay putting him as high as the likes of Beliveau, Richard or Hull on all-time lists. He was a little unpredictable at times. It's nitpicking a bit because when he was "on" he was unstoppable but you always did worry about any sort of mood swing. My guess is Jagr himself is laughing at being thought of as a "grandpa" type among NHL players now. It doesn't suit him very well does it?
... well.... couple things there Big Guy.... I actually do understand Johnny Depp (which Im assuming you might not find... unexpected?) and who he's "borrowing" from in his various roles. Ripping off. No big deal.... as for Jagr "laughing at being thought of as a Grandpa", earning his living hanging out with guys (and apparently dating women) who in some cases are less than 1/2 his age?... I suppose if he even thinks about it he might find it amusing but generally that personality type (and I've known plenty) live by a different code, set of standards. They just dont care what anyone thinks about their life choices, people they surround themselves with, crazy spontaneous things they might do. Kindly you could say their sort of "stuck in their twenties". They look in the mirror they dont see a 43 or 50 year old, a 73yr old like Mick Jagger for example. So long as the mind is sound (which speaks to a whole other range of issues that are certainly open to debate & criticism) & the body willing... 23 forever. Some guys just never grow up, others take the road less traveled, hard to say what the deal is with Jagr at this stage but as he's sort of become the Ultimate Mercenary and based on what we do know about him... loves the rush of the game, whole culture, off ice loves the rush of gambling, bit of a Party Boy. Havin too much fun to quit anytime soon. Machinehead. He's a hockey player, what he does & what he is, doesnt wanna re-invent himself just yet, going for broke. Like I said, I could easily see him going for Howes longevity record. Still a very useful, dynamic player.


Last edited by Killion: 12-27-2016 at 03:27 PM.
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12-27-2016, 03:31 PM
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I always got the impression it was an ice-time sort of thing. Am I misremembering the New Jersey departure?


Also, be extra careful about libel in case you go for a juicier answer.
No you are right, once DeBoer was fired he wanted PP and ice time guarantees. Sensing he wasn't gonna get that with Lamoriello he started looking elsewhere, although to his credit he never outright asked for a trade as long as New Jersey was in play off contention.

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12-27-2016, 04:17 PM
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... well.... couple things there Big Guy.... I actually do understand Johnny Depp (which Im assuming you might not find... unexpected?) and who he's "borrowing" from in his various roles. Ripping off. No big deal.... as for Jagr "laughing at being thought of as a Grandpa", earning his living hanging out with guys (and apparently dating women) who in some cases are less than 1/2 his age?... I suppose if he even thinks about it he might find it amusing but generally that personality type (and I've known plenty) live by a different code, set of standards. They just dont care what anyone thinks about their life choices, people they surround themselves with, crazy spontaneous things they might do. Kindly you could say their sort of "stuck in their twenties". They look in the mirror they dont see a 43 or 50 year old, a 73yr old like Mick Jagger for example. So long as the mind is sound (which speaks to a whole other range of issues that are certainly open to debate & criticism) & the body willing... 23 forever. Some guys just never grow up, others take the road less traveled, hard to say what the deal is with Jagr at this stage but as he's sort of become the Ultimate Mercenary and based on what we do know about him... loves the rush of the game, whole culture, off ice loves the rush of gambling, bit of a Party Boy. Havin too much fun to quit anytime soon. Machinehead. He's a hockey player, what he does & what he is, doesnt wanna re-invent himself just yet, going for broke. Like I said, I could easily see him going for Howes longevity record. Still a very useful, dynamic player.
Jagr is the "superfluous man" found in Russian literature in the 19th century.

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