Jagr’s Heel Turn

Posted: August 31, 2011 by JoeyD in NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins

Yesterday Broad Street Hockey posted quite a few juicy quotes from a Czech interview with Jaromir Jagr sure to rile up some Penguins fans. All in all I wasn’t too ticked off with anything Jagr said although there was many logic fails that I wish to address regardless of how language translations may lose intended meanings.

 “It just doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t expect their fans to see it like this. For two reasons. First of all, I didn’t expect them to want me to sign in Pittsburgh so much to begin with, because the last eight years in the NHL, they booed at me whenever I went there. And those same fans suddenly wanted me to return. It’s a bit strange. It was a huge surprise to me.”

I, for one, despised the booing of Jagr at Pens home games. Never once did it and, even though I will accept it much more now that he has signed with the Flyers, still wont do it.  Just because the fans boo you for the crap you pulled a decade ago doesn’t mean that if the opportunity arises that they wouldn’t welcome you back. The hatred had nothing to do with inferior play on the ice, so if there is an opportunity for you to come back to where it all began and be an effective piece to the puzzle why wouldn’t we want you back? Guess that’s pretty difficult for a forty year old to understand.

“Reporters started writing about Pittsburgh being an option for me months ago. But even by the draft the Penguins hadn’t shown any interest in me. They noticed me only after when the reporters had started writing about me. Suddenly they realized that the fans in Pittsburgh wanted me to return. After that, it was all calculated. They gave me an offer they knew would be the worst or one of the worst I’d get. They knew about the offers from other teams. They knew that I would turn them down. But the result looks like I refused to go there and they tried to get me. So the fans thought I was an idiot and eventually a traitor.”

That takes some stones, or a lack of working brain tissue, to suggest that a professional sports organization would make its decisions by influence of media and fan response. GM Ray Shero had asked Zbynek Michalek to extend the team’s invitation for the 20th anniversary get-together for the organization’s first Stanley Cup victory during the World Championships to Jagr. Shero stated this was a good will invitation and had nothing to do with wanting to sign him. And considering how close the WC is to the draft…of course there was no interest then.

The other part of the above quote is just sour grapes to me and attempts to spin this to gain sympathy for himself and blame to the Penguins. The Penguins, and I am sure the Red Wings as well, offer you contracts that fit within their budgets and cap situations. The Penguins stated that they were not going to get into a bidding war. So if you are that offended by the deal the Penguins offered you then that just proves how much of a non-fit it was going to be. No big deal move on right? No let’s just try to make it sound like its the Penguins’ fault instead.  A few more things, I guess, a forty year old doesn’t understand.

“If you want a player of certain quality, you can’t offer him third or fourth line money, can you? When you see players on the first line get about seven millions and second liners get five millions, I think my place would be somewhere in between. They offered me fourth line money. That’s it.”

Fourth line money eh? So the Penguins offered you a Craig Adams contract ($675,000)? If the Penguins offered the speculated $2 million deal, then that’s more like high end 3rd line money. But here is the kicker, the $3.3 million you signed for is pretty much low grade 2nd line money anyways.  I was going to try to scour Capgeek to find how many 5 million dollar 2nd liners there are but I don’t want to waste my whole day.  Again let’s play ‘Blame the Penguins’ instead of just accepting the nature of the business.  Are all forty year old’s like this?

“Sure. What can I say? I think it’s a bit silly to make a connection between that statement and the current situation. It’s a bit out of context. It’s like before the wedding you’d tell your bride that you’ll never leave her. And then a month later something happens and you get a divorce.”

Is it really that difficult to say “Yes I said that but when I said that I meant it more as a compliment to Mario and that I would be eternally grateful for all he has done for me in my career moreso than giving myself a price tag for my services in the future.” I’m sure people can accept that explanation than issuing blame that fans dared to soak that up. See it’s never Jagr’s fault at all is it?

Word of advice to the Philly locker room, it wont ever be Jagr’s fault. Must be a forty year old kind of thing. Good thing I am at that age yet.

  1. Dan MacNeal says:

    A one year risk like Zherdev. Hopefully it doesn’t turn out the same way.

  2. John Russo says:

    He’s having a midlife crisis, that’s all.

  3. Jagr sounds like a cranky old man

  4. Loutka says:

    who wrote this article is realy retard,shut up you idiot JoeyD
    You know nothing about JJ,you know anly lies from US webs get more information
    your article makes no sense ,you are only envious hater!

  5. Dan MacNeal says:

    By the title I was waiting for a photoshop of him hitting Mario with a steel chair

  6. must….crush….capitalism!

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