It’s been almost a week since the legendary Jaromir Jagr signed with the Stars, and I still can’t believe that it’s real. I’m still as flabbergasted now as I was when I got the text at work. Of all the signings and moves made so far this free agency, the Stars getting Jagr is the most surprising and the most thrilling.
By signing with the Stars, Jagr is majorly stepping out of his comfort zone. He’s never played for a Western conference team, so this provides an ample opportunity for fans of these teams to see a legend in action more than once a year. The travel’s worse for Dallas than pretty much anyone, but it won’t be an issue for Jagr as he dealt with long plane rides in the KHL. He obviously wants to play here because, let’s face it, free agents of his caliber don’t just sign in Dallas. Granted there’s a lot of money involved, but wouldyouplay in Columbus just because they offered you a little bit more than everyone else? And, sure, maybe we overpaid, but it’s ok. We have an insane amount of cap space that we can afford to waste. If anyone can afford to overpay, it’s us. However, there are more factors than money in this signing.
I think that Jagr sees an opprtunity to be a contributor as well as an all-important veteran presence on the Stars. He won’t take a backseat role in Dallas, and he’ll provide leadership for up-and-comers like Jamie Benn and the other youngsters. Plus, it’s worth noting that Radek Faksa is Czech like Jagr, so his influence will be felt on that tier as well. Even at 40 years old, Jagr still has it in him and will hopefully improve our atrocious powerplay.
The most important point in all this, though, is the fact that he chose Dallas. There were supposedly 21 teams after Jagr, including Detroit, Philadelphia, and Montreal. 21. And he chose the Stars. This speaks volumes about how great this organization is and how we’re coming back, slowly but surely. The media (and even Stars fans) far too often dismiss Dallas getting the top free agents as a pipe dream. “Why would any of the top FAs sign in Dallas?” is asked too much. I mean…why not sign in Dallas? The fact that we’ve managed to bring in guys like Michael Ryder and Adam Burish fresh off of championships and now Jagr is exciting.
The Stars have struggled to regain the fanbase and the glory we once knew, but GM Joe’s moves this summer have the team headed in the right direction. Now we boast an impressive top 6 and a much improved defense corps, as well as a star goalie. We’re on the right track.
This is real. This is happening.