Remind me why the Habs didn’t sign Jagr?

Posted: January 2, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Jaromir_Jagr_Prague

I know, I know, its 20/20 hindsight and all that, but I thought the Canadiens signing Jaromir Jagr was a good idea last July and it most certainly looks like a missed opportunity today. Especially when you compare to the free agent the Canadiens did end up picking up.

Yes Jagr versus Daniel Brière, that is the comparison that has to be made, and oh boy Marc Bergevin doesn’t come out of this one looking good.

The Czech superstar signed with the New Jersey Devils in July, with hockey’s most famous grinders taking No. 68 for one-year, at a price-tag of $2 million, and reportedly another $2 million in games-played bonuses. Given the way things are going, I think we can assume the Devils will end up paying him a cool $4 million.

Meanwhile here in Montreal, Bergevin snubbed Jagr – who has been saying for years he’d love to play for the Habs – and instead called up his own former agent Pat Brisson and snared the services of Brisson’s client Brière. The Canadiens inked a two-year deal with the former Philadelphia Flyer for $8 million. Just how bad a deal is this? Well let’s just say many are wondering if Brière will even still be playing in the National Hockey League next season.

He has five goals and five assists in 29 games, with a +/- of -4. Most nights, he’s looked ineffective with gusts up to invisible. Now on to Jags. Jagr, who’s six weeks away from his 42nd birthday, has been one of the inspirational stories of this hockey season. He’s playing a leadership role in New Jersey, with 13 goals, 21 assists, and a +/- of +10. He leads the team with four game-winning goals. Oh did I mention he’s set to head to Sochi to play for the Czech national team?

So why didn’t Montreal sign Jagr? I’m honestly not sure. His agent, former Habs blue-liner Petr Svoboda, who divides his time between Los Angeles and Westmount, has been trying to shop his client to Montreal for a couple of seasons now and for some reason the Habs have never shown the slightest interest.

The only theory I can come up with is the Habs organization quite simply does’t like star players. They don’t like the notion of any one person who is going to have a higher profile than the CH itself. Far fetched? You explain this one to me then.

Obviously they did like the idea of signing un gars de chez nous and I’m all for boosting the amount of local talent on the team. But they should’ve signed Brière six years ago, not now.

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