The New Jersey Devils were dealt a pretty significant offensive blow when Ilya Kovalchuk decided to “retire”, seemingly out of nowhere, and head back to Russia to play in the KHL. Instantly, many began wondering how the Devils would go about replacing him in the lineup.
While there is not going to be any sort of sure-fire solution in replacing an all-world player, the Devils are apparently nearing a deal with a veteran winger that has spent some time of his own in the KHL, in Jaromir Jagr. A deal isn’t done, but seems like a sure thing at this point.
Assuming the reports are true, Jagr should prove to be a terrific fit for this team now in need of a scoring winger. Jagr has shown over the past couple of years that even at his age, he’s still a guy capable of putting the puck in the net, while also providing excellent on-ice leadership for younger players.
Jagr posted a strong 35 points in the shortened season, split between the Dallas Stars and the Boston Bruins. In 11 games with the latter, he posted nine points, and although he didn’t score a goal in the postseason, he was still an offensive threat, with 10 assists and 58 shots across the playoffs.
Though he’s obviously not the player he once was, Jagr is still a solid playmaker out on the wing, and can put the puck in the back of the net. The Devils, despite additions to their offensive attack this summer, are still in need of some serious help offensively, and Jagr will help to ease the burden of losing Kovalchuk.
Assuming all goes to plan, not necessarily a safe assumption of course, this is a wonderful fit for the New Jersey Devils.