Friday, July 04, 2008

Jagr: End Of An Era

The signing of Markus Naslund to a two year deal, reportedly at $4 mil per year, was the final piece that put an end to Jaromir Jagr's career with the New York Rangers and quite possibly his career with the NHL. So the Jagr Era comes to a close. It lasted a little over three years and it was quite a run. He led the Rangers to three straight playoffs. He took the Stealth GM off the schneid after seven unsuccessful, non playoff seasons. He made coach clueless a coach of the year nominee for two years. He brought life and hope back to the Garden Faithful. The first year after the lockout he set a season Ranger record for goals (54) and points (123). But he wanted a two year deal at a yearly rate that was twice the rate the Rangers paid Naslund, hence the departure. For once the Stealth got it right. It was time for Jagr to go.

But I am not here to dis Jagr. The main stream, drive-by-media, and some blogs are doing it. They are harping on the fact that Jagr admitted that he didn't give his all the entire season and was saving it for the playoffs. Wow! The only thing Jagr is guilty of is admitting what hundreds of players do at one time or another. They mail it in. The next thing you know is that The Maven, Stan Fischler, will do a piece on him like he did on Avery. You know the drill. Locker room detriment. Putting himself above the team. No long term commitment. Should have taken less money. Fischler's piece on Avery showed Fischler as the ultimate shill. It didn't take long for the Rangers to throw Avery under the bus. But Fischler had backup to put across his point. His wife. So that's where the Maven gets all his facts from. Reminds me of the time during the 1980 Presidential debate of Reagan and Carter and Carter brought up the fact that his 8 year old daughter, Amy, had discussed nuclear proliferation with him prior to the debate.

One thing the shills of the world like Fischler don't understand. On and off the ice Avery is news. Whether it is in the sports section or on Page Six of the New York Post he creates excitement, news and he keeps hockey in the news. He made hockey a little bit more than a sub basement sport. He was a celebrity and he knew celebrities, especially female celebrities and this got hockey in the news. Avery accomplished what Bettman, the Absentee Owner, the Stealth GM and an assortment of NHL clowns could not. He put hockey in a favorable light and we will miss him.

But the Rangers are going forward with a new crew and hopefully with a new philosophy. Can they be successful with an 'old' coach clueless? I will write more on the new players and the new hope. For now, good luck and the best to Jaromir Jagr who brought professionalism, class, excitement, candor and outstanding performance in his brief Ranger tenure. He is perhaps the greatest European hockey player of all time.

Related Articles by Categories


  • NYR Zach said...

    Agreed... I loved Jagr, but it was time for him to go. Time to get on with the Gomez and Drury era.

  • The Dark Ranger said...

    Pundit,...I took less the 'high-road' - you are the nicer blogger, but...Jagr did give us three years of playoffs - and three anxious seasons of whethering we'd make the playoffs along with it. It appears we finally have a hockey team, as opposed to the Jagr team -- so...

    Bottom's up. Slats might have it right this time.


  • mike said...

    nyr zach-Time for a change and hopefully a good one.

  • mike said...

    tdr-Mellowness comes with age but the proof will be in the pudding.

    As for the Stealth finally getting it right, as we say in the native tongue, Finalmente.

  • jb said...

    Sweet Caroline, good times never seem so good...

    I hope the Rangers keep the song Sweet Caroline for playing after wins. I like that bit of 'tradition.' I think it was something Jags started. Just in case you forgot the words:

    Where it began, I can't begin to know when
    But then I know it's growing strong
    Oh, wasn't the spring, whooo
    And spring became the summer
    Who'd believe you'd come along

    Hands, touching hands, reaching out
    Touching me, touching you
    Oh, sweet Caroline
    Good times never seem so good
    I've been inclined to believe it never would

    And now I, I look at the night, whooo
    And it don't seem so lonely
    We fill it up with only two, oh
    And when I hurt
    Hurting runs off my shoulder
    How can I hurt when holding you

    Oh, one, touching one, reaching out
    Touching me, touching you
    Oh, sweet Caroline
    Good times never seem so good
    Oh I've been inclined to believe it never would

    Ohhh, sweet Caroline, good times never seem so good

  • mike said...

    jb-Good thought. Also, they should keep the raising of the sticks after a win.