Attention St. Louis Blues decision makers,
Please sign Jaromir Jagr. Why? 765, 45, and 16.
He has 765 career goals at the age of 45, and he scored 16 of them last season. Did I mention he is 45 years of age? That’s like 72 in hockey seasons when it comes to wear and tear.
Look, this preseason has been as kind to you as the President has been to athletes who don’t support the wall he wants to build. Unkind and quite uninviting for the regular season launch that happens in eleven short days.
Before the puck dropped in training camp, Patrik Berglund hurt his shoulder again, so he has plenty of time for beard grooming, but no time to insert pucks into a net. During the first play of training camp, Zach Sanford got rocked into the boards. Alex Steen got a wicked slash and is out. Jay Bouwmeester was stung with old achy man bones, breaking his ankle. And Robby Fabbri’s surgical repaired knee has already barked.
Four forwards and a defenseman before opening night against Pittsburgh, where Ryan Reaves will probably injure two more Blues. That’s a cry for help, and as much as I like Sam Blais aka Sammy Blay coming in and dazzling, Mike Yeo and his band of brothers need a proven scorer.
Enter The Jagr. In each of his 23 seasons in the NHL, Jagr has scored at least 16 goals. Isn’t that cool? Who on the Blues has done that? He has played for eight teams and produced for eight teams.
Here is a guy who could have hung them up after his time with Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh and sliced a great career. But he kept going and has proven that age is just a state of mind to a magician who treats like the ice like his backyard.
Jagr would complement the Blues clubhouse quite perfectly, blending in with the veterans and allowing the young guns to watch a true pro go to work every night. Any time you can get a legend of the game with a few bullets left in his stick and some juice left in his knees on your team, you make the move.
Jagr would make you forget anyone was injured for the first month of the season and with the right linemates could produce another great season-and do it in St. Louis.
One season only? Good deal. Jagr is getting up there in age, so a two year deal wouldn’t sit wisely with either side. With the Blues slowly but surely getting younger each offseason, you don’t need two years of Jagr.
That is, unless he scored 20 goals and loved it here, but that’s another cup of coffee on another day.
Money? Figure it out. I don’t get paid enough to decipher where the Blues will find the money, but I am guessing the four million dollar cap hit Jagr landed on the Florida Panthers last season won’t be too hard to find.
Look, you aren’t getting premium Jagr. He last scored 50+ goals in 2005-06 and 30+ goals in 2006-07. It’s been ten years since he was among the elite, but he’s still got the ability to play and he is one of the most durable players in the league.
Since the 2001-02 season where he played in 63 games, Jagr has appeared in at least 89 percent of the regular season games. He played a full season in his mid-40’s last season.
Sure, Jagr is a relic and nearing the end. The gray is taking over the locks of hair that were once auburn brown. The beard is equal parts salt n’ pepper. Some nights, Jagr looks like a White Walker extra from the set of Game of Thrones. But, he’s currently winning on all three cards against Father Time.
On October 5th, he will decide whether he wants to play in the NHL or go overseas. The Blues should make a strong bid for his services.
For a team transitioning-like it or not, they are-the Blues need a dose of veteran scoring and leadership from a guy like Jagr. He could be a stud on the ice and a coach in the locker room. If there is a walking hockey encyclopedia in the league, it’s Jagr. He’s Houdini on the age, still making younger guys miss with his skills and positioning.
The Blues brought in Martin Brodeur at the end of his career, and while it was fun and cool to see #30 in Blue, he looked like a guy at the bottom of the hill. If you sign Jagy, you are getting a player on his feet slowly walking down the hill to the end and not tumbling.
Do the right thing, suits. Doug, you’ve had a heck of an offseason. I didn’t think you could trade Jori Lehtera for a blind goat, but you got a fine return. And then you traded Reaves for a first. All of this after advancing further in the playoffs than anyone had hoped.
So, cap off the moves with a great one. Bring in Jaromir. Convince him that St. Louis is the jewel box that he hasn’t played in yet. Toss IMOS at him. Take him to The Hill and Russell’s on Macklind. Sing him at the Blues at Beale Street. Take him to a Cards....or not. Just show him a guy named Vladimir Tarasenko, someone who could use Jagr mentoring as he becomes a superstar in this league. Do what it takes.
The Blues need Jagr right now. And, look that hair.
The Bald Guy in South City who won’t shut up