The Calgary Flames have signed forward Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract worth a reported $1 million.
It is believed the contract includes about $1 million in bonuses.
The 45-year-old had been without a contract in the NHL since the Florida Panthers decided not to re-sign him after a 46-point campaign in 2016-2017. He had been one of the most talked-about free agents and many, including yours truly, found themselves perplexed at the notion that he hadn’t been picked up.
Business picked up over the weekend, with reports emerging that Jagr was talking to the Flames and the St. Louis Blues. And indeed, the Blues tabled an offer for the forward but were informed that he was “heading in another direction.”
It is believed that a few other teams were in the hunt with the 2017-2018 NHL season fast approaching, but Calgary won out in the end and it appears that Jagr will be skating for a Canadian team for the first time in his storied career.
Second all-time in NHL scoring with 1,914 points, the forward was drafted into the league in 1990 by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Along with the Penguins, Jagr has suited up for the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, and Panthers. He helped the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cups in the early 1990s.
Jagr can still put up points at the NHL level and the Flames should get a fair deal of secondary scoring from the superstar, but it’s his presence that will really turn heads. Calgary found themselves earning a spot in the playoffs last season and were eliminated by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round. The addition of Jagr could push them further in the post-season.
For the potential good that can come out of this, this contract is a steal for the Flames. And the timing is certainly great for Calgary, too, with that other Alberta hockey club making all the headlines right now. With Jagr in the fold and a solid roster, the Flames could surprise more than a few people this season.
More to come…