Jaromir Jagr leaves the Boston Bruins for the New Jersey Devils

Forty-one year-old free agent Jaromir Jagr has left the Boston Bruins and signed a one-year deal with the New Jersey Devils for $2 million. Lou Lamoriello, the general manager of the NHL team, announced the signing on July 23. Jagr is taking a rather significant cut in pay as he made $4.5 million last season.

Lamoriello realizes that Jagr is no longer the dominant player he once was, but believes he can still provide a positive offensive impact on the team. Lamoriello stated that he’s kept a close eye on the big forward for the last couple of seasons and he’s never seen a player work as hard as Jagr, even at his advanced age.

The general manager said he spoke to several of Jagr’s ex teammates and coaches and they all feel he still has plenty to offer, especially on the power play because he’s so well conditioned. Jagr claimed that a few NHL teams were interested in him, but he wasn’t in a position to command a very large paycheck. Jagr said at this stage in his career the most important thing for him is to join a team which will give him plenty of ice time.

He added that he still loves the game and doesn’t want to sit on the bench. He should be able to play a regular shift with the Devils since their second-leading scorer last season Ilya Kovalchuk recently left the NHL club to return to play in his homeland of Russia. The Devils also lost last season’s top scorer as David Clarkson bolted the team and signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jagr could have also returned to Europe to play in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League), but wanted to remain in the NHL because he views it as the best league in the world. The Devils can certainly do with some help in the offensive end of the rink as they were ranked 28th in goal scoring last season in the 30-team league. They also missed the playoffs in the shortened 48-game campaign after making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final the year before and losing it to the Los Angeles Kings.

Jagr started out with the Dallas stars last season, but was then traded to Boston. The forward, who has won the NHL scoring title five times, played in 45 regular season games and scored 35 points on 16 goals and 19 assists. However, he didn’t do as well in the playoffs with just 10 assists to his name in 22 games. His Bruins lost the Stanley Cup Final in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The native of Kladno in the Czech Republic was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the fifth overall selection back in 1990. He’s played 1,391 regular season games during his career with Pittsburgh, the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas and Boston. New Jersey also signed free agent forwards Ryane Clowe, Michael Ryder and Rostislav Olesz during the offseason and traded for goaltender Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks.

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