The New Jersey Devils were lucky to have Jaromir Jagr when they did.
The New Jersey Devils have been lucky to have some legends play for their team. Of course, most of them are long-time players that has their numbers sitting in the Prudential Center rafters, but there have been a few all-time great players to make a quick stop in Newark. One of those guys is Jaromir Jagr. He only played parts of two seasons with the Devils, but he was one of their best forwards on the roster at that time. It was a time where the team was bad, but he made things fun to watch.
In his first and only full season with the Devils, he scored 24 goals and had 43 assists for 67 points in 82 games at 41 years old. He was traded to the Florida Panthers in the middle of his second season with New Jersey.
One of Jagr’s best performances in New Jersey came outdoors. He was awesome in the Stadium Series game that they played at Yankee Stadium against the New York Rangers. The Rangers won the game, but Jagr put up two assits. He also made many spectacular plays using his passing ability and shot. He wasn’t able to skate like he was able to early in his career, but his other skills made up for it.
One thing that stands out when you go back and watch old Jagr Devils videos is the way he shot the puck. He always held the stick near the top of the shaft which is wild because he was able to shoot it so hard that way. It made it harder for goaltenders to read where the puck was going to be coming off the stick. It was cool to see him do these things with the Devils because at 41 years old, these skills were important due to the lack of speed.
This was a guy playing on a bad team after having a legendary career. He was the fifth overall pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins and if that draft were redone, you can argue that either he or Martin Brodeur (20th overall to New Jersey) would be the first-overall pick. He has a Hart Trophy, five scoring titles (Art Ross Trophy), and two Stanley Cups in his legendary career, so there is no doubt that he made a mark on the league. When a guy that special plays for the team you cheer for, it feels good.
When Jagr ultimately gets into the Hall of Fame, it’s great to see the Devils having even a small part of his career. He gave his all to New Jersey during some tough years and some people might have had the chance to watch him that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to if he had gone somewhere else. We will always remember him for what he gave us in such a short amount of time.