This is a formal plea for the Edmonton Oilers to sign Jaromir Jagr. Why? It makes a world of sense.
Seriously, how is this guy not an Oiler yet? The fact that Jaromir Jagr is still available blows my mind, especially when you consider how shallow the free agent pool was this year. You’re telling me that there aren’t teams out there that could use a guy with this kind of experience on their roster? From where I blog, I can think of a young team that could desperately use a guy that’s seen and done it all.
Jaromir, it’s time for you to land in the 7-8-0.
According to NHLNumbers, the Edmonton can make this work without having to do some kind of cap gymnastics. Even with Draisaitl’s contract coming, the Oilers would still have the cap space needed to bring in a vet like Jagr on a one-year deal and be able to offer him something competitive. How can that not work? To me, it seems like a no-brainer. Despite pushing 100 years old, Jagr was still able to put up 46 points for the very bad Panthers last year and would provide some excellent leadership for our stable of young warlords.
Not to mention, Jagr is the only available free agent that could be able to mentally keep up with Connor McDavid on the ice. Just think of the havoc those two could cause in the offensive zone with their ability to process the game and outsmart defenders in tight—tell me that it wouldn’t be awesome. Sure, Jagr’s legs may not be what they once were, but that hands are there and he’s still smart enough to be in the right place at the right time in the offensive zone.
Jaromir Jagr is still looking for a place to play and the Edmonton Oilers have a team full of young pros that could use a mentor that actually has the skills to pay the bills. For years, the Oilers have added experienced guys in bottom-six roles to provide leadership but it’s only recently that they’ve been in a spot to be able to lure higher end UFAs to town. Now that the playoffs are expected then it would make sense to add another mentor into the mix.
THE NUMBERS CAN WORK
If you take last year’s $4 million contract as a baseline, it seems reasonable to assume that Jagr would sign for something similar or even less considering where we’re at in the summer. With there being limited interested in the veteran the Oilers have an opportunity for a steal. From the man himself:
“The most serious negotiations I have are with Kladno. Because Kladno has a smart owner who knows what he wants,” joked Jagr, who owns the team in Czech Republic’s second-tier professional league. “No, really, I don’t have a clue. I leave it all on my agent [Petr Svoboda]. There is a couple of [NHL] teams that showed interest, but nothing specific yet.”
As of this posting, the Oilers have $10,478,000 in cap space assuming that every player hits their bonuses, which they won’t. You guys know I love Darryl but there’s no way that he’ll be hitting all of his schedule A and B bonuses to max out his cap hit. Get it? Good.
It’s also important to remember the fact that Andrej Sekera will be out for a couple months, and Mark Fayne’s sideburns will likely keep in Bakersfield, which means the Oilers will be recouping a couple million dollars at least. Without planning for the worst and maxing out everyone’s bonuses, the Oilers have just under $17 million in available cap space which means there is plenty available for both Drai and Jagr.
THINK OF THE POSSIBILITIES
Having a guy like Jagr on the team would open up a world of possibilities in terms of line combinations and also letting some of the younger guys to be put in a spot to succeed. Imagine having the Oilers being able to slot in a guy like Jesse Puljujarvi on the third line which would give him easier matchups and not break his spirit with the expectations of having to perform every single night. McLellan also likes having pairs so why could Jagr move up and down with Strome?
Check out the quick lines I threw together and tell me that this doesn’t make some blood rush to your nether regions?
At the end of the day, I have a hard time seeing any negatives about signing Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract. The idea of seeing Jagr make magic with McDavid is exciting, and the idea of him being around to teach some young guys about what it takes to win the Stanley Cup and have a long, successful career makes a lot of sense. If the Edmonton Oilers are looking to make a small splash that could bring all kinds of positives and intangibles then this is a player that makes every shade of sense.
Sign him up, Pete. Do it now. It’s not every day that you have the chance to land a legend.