Penguins Free-Agent Update: Good Riddance – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Free-Agent Update: Good Riddance

When I first learned that the Penguins were entertaining the idea of bringing Jaromir Jagr back to the ‘Burgh, I must confess to having mixed emotions.

On one hand, a Jagr return to the Steel City would have revved fan interest to a fever pitch, not to mention providing a happy ending to what was heretofore one of the saddest chapters in franchise history. And there’s no question that adding No. 68 to a lineup featuring superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would have spiced up the black-and-gold attack.

Maybe he’s changed, I thought. Perhaps at 39 years of age he’s finally matured to the point where he truly could sacrifice himself for the good of the team. However, the more pessimistic part of me kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sure enough, it did.

Handed a golden opportunity to mend fences and restore the luster to his tarnished legacy in Pittsburgh, the expatriate winger flaunted his true colors. Executing a 180-degree spin that would’ve done a figure skater proud, “Jags” spurned the Pens’ offer in favor of a juicier deal with the archrival Flyers. Once a diva, always a diva.

In the city of “Brotherly Shove,” I’m sure Philadelphia fans are dancing in the streets. While no longer the brilliant one-on-one demon of his halcyon days, Jagr still is undeniably a gifted and passionate performer, as he proved in the recent World Championships. No doubt the five-time NHL scoring champ will pot 25 goals or so this season while enhancing Philadelphia’s already potent power play.

I hope for their sake the Flyers’ express has plenty of room in the (excess) baggage compartment. They’re gonna’ need it. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re still as enamored of their prized pick-up when he goes … say … ten games without a goal and his attitude flies south faster than a robin at the onset of winter. Philly coach Peter Laviolette might be well advised to dust off his resume.

“Jaromir Jagr has got a reputation for being a coach-killer, and it’s quite accurate,” said Ron Wilson, who served as Jagr’s bench boss in Washington. “I mean, I’m not going to mince words there. I think he’s gone through a coach or two a year, and he made the job very difficult not only for me but for the guy [Bruce Cassidy] who came after me and the organization as a whole. When you end up with a player who’s bigger than the team, you’re going to be in serious trouble.”

I say, good riddance.

*Be sure to check out Rick’s book, “Total Penguins,” at TriumphBooks.com. A complete and comprehensive book on the team’s rich and colorful history, it’s filled with season-by-season summaries, player profiles and stats, bios on coaches, general managers and owners, photos from the “Post-Gazette” archives, and much, much more. A must have for any true Penguins fan. 

*Be sure to check out Rick Buker’s books,
available at TriumphBooks.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com

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  1. plus de facebook fan's Gravatar plus de facebook fan
    April 15, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

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  2. Barry Lush's Gravatar Barry Lush
    August 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    When I first heard that Jagr could be heading back to Pittsburgh,the 12 year old inside of me was happy. As an adult,and a fan of the team since 1990,I knew that Jagr came with baggage,but I had faith that Shero and Mario would do what was best for the team. Seeing Jagr finish his career in Pittsburgh would have been nice.

    As the day got closer,I was nursing a broken foot from a family vacation in western Newfoundland,and decided to turn in to TSN for the latest news. When I seen that he had signed with Philly,it really pissed me off. Here’s a guy that is already a millionaire,turning down a chance to retire in dignity,so that he could bank a bit more money. In my heart,I just think he didn’t want to play in Pittsburgh because of all the great stars that the team got,Jags would play second-fiddle to Sid and Geno etc. I hope that he has a lousy season.

  3. TANGER58's Gravatar TANGER58
    July 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I have on my FB page… Dude looks like a baby! Didn’t the Filthadelphia fans play that for him? (Well Dude looks like a lady.) It would be awesome (which I know we can’t) sign a great winger for $3.3MM, to show him he wasn’t worth it. I will be chanting “Go home Jagr December 29th!” I guess I really can’t bring out my Jagr jersey now. Except to throw away?

  4. July 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Jagr could have come to the Penguins and finished his career, been somewhat of a hero and retired with honor, but he chose to be a Flyer! Enough said, he left as a bum and will retire as a bum! Can’t wait to see you on the ice.


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