If you’re a Boston Bruins fan who was gutted that you never got to see the classic post-goal salute Jaromir Jagr promised, you might just be in luck. There’s a possibility that he might actually come back to the team next season after all because, well, things have changed since general manager Peter Chiarelli said that number 68 won’t return.
Jagr never did his post-goal salute since the goals he scored while in a Bruins sweater, all two of them, were not deemed salute-worthy by the man himself. That’s fair–that’s his prerogative. He was also astonishingly snakebitten during the playoffs, never once finding the back of the net despite what felt like 68,000 attempts.
But he did provide quite a few helpful and timely assists, like when he caught fire during the playoffs and started feeding excellent passes to guys like Patrice Bergeron. For example, he had two assists–both on Bergeron goals–during the tumultuous and goal-filled Game 4, including this one to tie it at four apiece:
He had another two-helper outburst in Game 2 against his old Pittsburgh Penguins, helping out Bergeron and Brad Marchand:
Slick helpers like these prove that, despite not lighting the lamp himself, he did indeed contribute during his Boston tenure. That’s just his impact on the ice. His off-ice persona, of being extremely possessive of his sticks (see photo above), of joking and laughing with reporters about the perceived limitations of his age, of taking pre-game skates in his Bruins toque and being out there long after everyone else left, of dyeing that beard of his so he’d look like the Wolverine, of having at least three parody Twitter accounts and a running “presence” on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s morning show–that’s all just icing on the cake, really.
This possibility of a return of the Jagr is because of Nathan Horton‘s decision to set sail for quieter shores, a decision that is also his and his alone. This announcement came after break-up day, when Chiarelli said he wouldn’t ask Jagr back to the Bruins. But since there’s an opening now, it’s possible, but there are some questions. What if Jagr has moved on to a new team himself? What if Chiarelli would rather slot in a younger winger?
Or maybe he might be swayed by the boundless charm of JJ68–and maybe Bruins fans just might get a salute next season after all.