The 2013 NHL trade deadline was an interesting time for the Boston Bruins. Spurned by deadline darling Jarome Iginla, GM Peter Chiarelli needed to do something to both acquire talent for the playoffs and mend the fences with a fan base that was sincerely bummed about the previous failed attempt at a trade.
Chiarelli made quite a solid backup move when he traded with the Dallas Stars to bring in future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr. In a way, the move actually made a little more sense than bringing in Iginla. The Bruins weren’t netting many goals and, even at age 41, Jagr was having another consistent year in terms of scoring. He also came at a cheaper price, with the only significant piece of the deal for Boston being a conditional draft pick. If the Bruins made the Eastern Conference Finals, the pick became a first rounder.
Yesterday, Jagr signed a free agent deal with the New Jersey Devils, thus bringing his two month tenure with Boston to a quick end. It was made pretty apparent by Bruins management that Jagr probably wouldn’t be returning next season, so the move wasn’t too shocking. However, in his short time with Boston, did Jagr deliver what fans had hoped?
Overall, Jagr didn’t bring in a ton of points for the Bruins. He only scored two goals — one off his skate during his debut with the team — during the regular season, none in the playoffs. Come postseason, he contributed ten assists across 22 games. More often than not, the Czech winger looked slow and struggled to get off the ice in time. Bottom line; it wasn’t exactly the scoring addition the team was hoping for.
But, is it enough to call the experiment a failure?
As mentioned, it would’ve been foolish to assume the Bruins were about to see the same player that strung together more than a few 100+ point seasons. Still, Boston needed scoring help and didn’t get a ton through Jagr.
Also, thanks to the Bruins making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, they surrendered a first round pick to the Stars. Granted, it wouldn’t have been a high pick thanks to the Bruins making the playoffs. However, it’s tough to part with a first rounder.
At the end of the day, we all knew Jagr was a rental at most. Sure, it was highly doubtful he was retiring anytime soon, but his time with the Bruins was sure to be short. However, the team had to have been hoping for more than just two goals. His veteran leadership and experience were very beneficial to the team, but it was his scoring ability the Bruins were after.
So, while Boston didn’t give up the ranch for Jagr, they also didn’t get a ton in return. It’s certainly not a move the team will be paying for for a while, but a few goals in the postseason would’ve gone a long way.
A bigger letdown: we didn’t even get to see the famous Jagr salute.