The new Russian Continental League finally scored an NHL superstar in the off-season by signing Jaromir Jagr to a 2-year deal on Friday. This means Jagr won't be a big player in North America for at least a couple seasons, possibly the rest of his career and he won't be a factor in your hockey pools.
Jagr finishes as one of the statistically great players in the NHL, of all-time, and finished in the top 50 of scoring last season as well. Last season, he played in all 82 games for the Rangers, scoring 25 goals and adding 46 assists. There's a good chance that if you're setting up a CHL pool for the teams in Europe, Jagr would be a first overall pick in that draft.
It is believed that since the Rangers added Nikolai Zherdev and Markus Naslund up front and Wade Redden and Dimitri Kalinin on the blueline, the Rangers weren't going to have enough cap space to even handle Jagr's new deal.
Well, you can strike Jagr off your pool lists for next season, but he was generally off my list every season, due to his inconsistency. He'll be top dog again in Russia, which is good for him and he won't be a major concern for the media, especially on his bad days. I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to miss him, although I'm sure there are plenty of Jagr fans out there that will. It will be a refreshing change to not have Jagr, but I don't know how long he'll actually be gone. Sure, he's 36, and when he's done his first contract in Russia, he'll only be 38, which may give him another season or two back in North America, if he finds the hockey too easy over there. I don't think we've seen the last of Jaromir Jagr.