Really. Wouldn’t you like to see Jaromir Jagr in the CH jersey? All of a sudden, you have a decent approximation of a second line for the Canadiens with Jagr playing alongside his good buddie and fellow Czech Tomas Plekanec, and presumably finally pulling Plek out of his season-long funk.
Now I know Habs management is taking a lot of heat for not snaring Jags but I don’t blame the Habs brass on this one. I think the guilty parties are Jagr himself and his Westmount-based agent Petr Svoboda.
Montreal was interested in the services of Mr. Jagr but not for $4.55 million. That’s what the Dallas Stars are paying Jagr and it’s way too much for a 40-year-old who had 19 goals and 35 assists last year with the Philadelphia Flyers and was a non-factor in the playoffs.
Now Jagr is saying Montreal was his first choice after Phillie said they weren’t interested.
“I always wanted to play in Canada and I wanted to go to Montreal if I had a chance, but Montreal wasn’t interested,” Jagr said on a conference call Thursday. “All of a sudden I got a phone call from (Dallas Stars general manager) Joe Nieuwendyk that Dallas was interested.”
Two things. First-off, you show a remarkable lack of class to sign with a team and then immediately say you really wanted to play with another team. Remember when Alex Kovalev arrived in Ottawa and the first thing he said was that he really wanted to play with the Habs more than any other team? Doesn’t exactly endear you to your new team. And we know how that partnership worked out.
Second, Jagr and Svoboda could’ve made a deal with Montreal if they weren’t so desperate for extra cash. I’m convinced that, for two or 2.5 million, Habs GM Marc Bergevin – spotted at Westmount Park earlier this week watching the Westmount Wanderers U13 soccer club practicing – would’ve signed Jagr. And it would’ve been great. Can you imagine how much the fans would’ve loved having Jagr in town? Montreal hockey fans are desperate for a rock-star forward – something we haven’t had in a couple of decades.
He would’ve had a great year here – you know he would’ve had a blast and probably would’ve posted some good numbers. Instead he’ll be in Dallas playing in a town where no one cares about hockey and where he’ll be able to walk down the street un-noticed. He could be living it up on The Main living it up in those swanky bars and restos.
But no! He’s gotta go and chase the big bucks in Texas. Big mistake pal!