NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — He’ll be 43 on Sunday, but you better believe teams will be lining up for his services should his current squad deem him expendable.
The player, of course, is Jaromir Jagr. And his team is the New Jersey Devils, who with each passing day look less and less like they will be able to sneak into the playoffs this season.
Though Jagr has said he loves playing in New Jersey, he loves winning more, and with the Devils 12 points out of a playoff spot with 28 games remaining, it might be just a matter of time before general manager Lou Lamoriello waves the white flag on this season.
In fact, TSN recently reported that Jagr hopes to get moved to an Eastern Conference contender before the March 2 trade deadline.
Jagr, himself, told reporters on Wednesday he will not ask the Devils for a trade, but he sure sounded like someone who wouldn’t protest if Lamoriello opts to send him on his way.
“It doesn’t matter what I want,” Jagr told NorthJersey.com. “That’s what I learned in my life. It doesn’t matter what I want. Sometimes what I want, it’s not the best thing for me just because I want it. It doesn’t matter. I’ve always found out that whatever happened to me was always the best thing to happen to me. So, my fate in this? Whatever happens, happens. I know it’s going to be the best thing that happens to me. I know that. It doesn’t matter what it is. If I like it or not, I know it’s going to be the best thing, so I don’t even worry about it.
“I just want to make sure I’m getting better every day,” he added.
According to ESPN, Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, met with Lamoriello on Saturday in Montreal to discuss whether the Devils had plans to move the future Hall of Famer. Lamoriello has kept his intentions under wraps, but was crystal clear about what he thinks of Jagr.
“He’s in phenomenal shape, still contributing and could be an asset to anybody depending upon what they needed if that were the case,” Lamoriello said, perhaps sending out feelers to potential suitors.
It’s hard to imagine Jagr not being highly sought-after should the Devils shop him. The 23-year veteran, who is sixth in career points (1,784) and fifth in goals (716), has acquitted himself well with the Devils over the last two seasons, putting up 35 goals and 96 points in 132 games.
“I’ll tell you one thing: I think some teams worry about when I go there, I want to be on the first power play, I want to be on the first line. It’s not true,” Jagr said. “I’m here on the third line and I play 15 minutes. Sometimes I don’t get on the power play and I’m happy. Not happy, but I do my job and try to do it the best.”
As for teams currently in playoff contention who could use Jagr — who has been to the Stanley Cup Final three times, including winning twice with Pittsburgh back in the early 1990s — the answer is pretty simple: