Talk about unlikely destinations for Jaromir Jagr.
The Florida Panthers announced Thursday they have acquired 43-year-old winger Jarmoir Jagr from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round selection in 2016. The conditions of the third-round pick have not yet been released.
With 11 goals and 29 points in 57 games, Jagr was the third-highest scorer on a Devils team that has been starved for offense this season. However, equally as hungry for someone who can boost their woeful offensive production are the Panthers. After all, without playing a single game Jagr will have the fifth-most points of any player to suit up for Florida this season.
For several weeks, dating back to before the NHL’s all-star break, it has been evident that Jagr was unhappy with his situation in New Jersey and that he was looking to move on from the organization and play out the rest of the season.
Jagr is coming off a season in which he tallied 24 goals and 67 points and he should be able to add at least a little bit of offensive punch to the Panthers. Only five teams have scored fewer goals than Florida’s 145, and they are by far the lowest scoring team in playoff contention.
The Panthers currently sit two points back of the Boston Bruins for the second and final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have played 60 games. On Florida’s heels are the hard-charging Philadelphia Flyers, sitting only two points back of the Panthers.
Florida has been on the cusp of securing a playoff spot all season and have traded the final spot with Boston since before the break. The move by Panthers’ GM Dale Tallon to acquire Jagr – effectively a rental, as he’ll become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end – shows Florida believes they have a chance to get into the playoffs.
The Panthers will be the fifth team that Jagr has suited up with since his return to the NHL from the KHL in 2011-12, skating in games for the Flyers, Stars, Bruins and Devils before being acquired by Florida.
Jagr is the fifth-highest scoring player in NHL history, registering 716 goals and 1,784 points in 1,530 career games. He was the fifth overall selection of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990 draft, three years before the Panthers joined the NHL. He won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1990-91 and 1991-92.