NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Devils traded future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr to the Florida Panthers on Thursday for a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round pick in 2016.
The move did not come as a major surprise, as the Devils are having a disappointing campaign and Jagr recently hinted that he’d be open to a trade.
“It had nothing to do with us winning or losing last night,” Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said on Thursday. “By no means are we feeling we are out of a race … We had a conversation today. The relationship we’ve had has been impeccable.”
The 43-year-old winger, who is fifth in NHL history with 1,784 points and sixth with 716 goals, one behind Phil Esposito, had 11 goals and 18 assists for New Jersey this season, but was in the midst of an eight-game pointless streak.
Jagr had seen his ice time shrink dramatically over the past few weeks.
“Jaromir never came to me,” Lamoriello said. “We never had a discussion about a trade … Jaromir feeling he needs more ice time to have success does enter into it.”
Lamoriello added that the trade will give veterans Michael Ryder and Martin Havlat more of a chance to play. He also maintained that the Devils might add a player before Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline as they continue their pursuit of an Eastern Conference playoff spot. New Jersey entered play Thursday eight points behind eighth-place Boston with 21 games to go.
Lamoriello said although the Panthers are ahead of the Devils by just six points, their offer was too good to pass up.
“We would not have made this transaction if it was not in the best interest of the Devils,” Lamoriello said.