James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Jagr goes to Beantown

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Quick note: Brian Rosenbaum is running a trade deadline-related Rotoworld chat between 5-6 p.m. ET on Wednesday. It will be a great way to get instant analysis of that (hopefully?) crazy day’s events if you want to make moves on the fly. Don’t miss it.




If I had to summarize the feeling of the last week-or-so heading into today’s tradeline, it would be this: I hope you didn’t take off work today.


Don’t get me wrong, I think that the 2013 trade deadline has potential to swing a few playoff berths/fantasy titles/passing interests thanks to what happens today. It just so happens that some of the most obvious - if not biggest - movers have already shaken their way out of their respective towns. Which means you can probably settle for sneaking some covert refreshes of Rotoworld at work (and that’s kind of a fun game in itself isn’t it? /Gets you fired).


You probably know all about the departures/arrivals of Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester, Brenden Morrow and so on from earlier; if not, check out recent articles from the Daily Dose archives to catch up. Plenty happened between Tuesday’s DD and this one, though, so let’s get cracking on the bigger cases.




As I mentioned on Twitter yesterday, one can only imagine the staggering volume of people who made Boston accent jokes involving the Bruins acquiring Jaromir Jagr (Yahhhgahh or something obnoxious like that) ... not to mention all the people who pronounced Jagr in the exact way that inspired the humor, without any sense of irony or jest. However you pronounce the move, it could very well be the B’s remedy for missing out on Jarome Iginla (although I’d say they should eyeball an offensive defenseman like Mark Streit, too).


The big question - beyond the bigger picture issues that come with inserting something of an offensive artiste into a system that demands a lot of hard hat mentalities - is who ends up being the loser in the Bruins’ strong-on-paper top six?


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand - Tyler Seguin - Patrice Bergeron




CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty believes that Horton will join Rich Peverley on the third line, patiently awaiting the hopeful return of should-be third-line center Chris Kelly (who’s progressing nicely in his injury rehab at the moment).


Of course, things could get much simpler if Bergeron’s mysterious (possible head) injury ends up being something serious. He left Tuesday’s game after a collision with Ottawa Senators player Colin Greening and didn’t come back, with no substantial update since. Hmm.


Either way, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Horton’s days with the Bruins are numbered. The team has a lot of guys locked up to lengthy deals (including some, like Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic, who are receiving raises) and they also need to either extend Tuukka Rask/Anton Khudobin or find new guys in net.


That all points to the possibility that Horton’s Dr. Seuss pun-inducing antics might take place outside of Boston after this season. Is that enough to justify moving him at the deadline? Probably not, but one can only imagine that the Bruins’ management team has at least discussed it.




Again, I can’t help but wonder if Jagr might have found himself in the wrong environment after delighting in the Jagr-friendly ecosystems that existed with the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars. While it helps to have countryman David Krejci around* to smooth out the adjustment process, it’s tempting to chuckle at the Odd Couple setup between cerebral scorer Jagr and hard-driving head coach Claude Julien.


(The biggest ace up Jagr’s sleeve is that he’s a noted hard worker in the gym, which is probably a huge reason why people don’t snicker at the idea that he can make an impact at age 40+ like they would regarding just about anyone not named Jagr or Teemu Selanne.)




Assuming that the team is able to iron out the wrinkles pretty well, Jagr’s lure is obvious: to improve the Bruins’ power play. The future Hall of Famer left Dallas tied for the team lead with 9 PPPs alongside Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski. Meanwhile, in Boston, Krejci tops all Bruins skaters with six points on the man advantage.


That’s simply the easiest way of saying that Jagr should help boost what is likely the weakest part of a strong team in Boston. While I think he’ll see a decline in linemates - it’s pretty hard to top playing alongside Claude Giroux and Benn, honestly - he could very well be in a position to get solid +/- numbers and maybe a few GWG’s he might not have seen on a struggling Stars team.


Overall, I think it’s a fabulous move for the Bruins while Jagr takes a step back.


Jump for the impact on Dallas, some quick thoughts on other trades and some other bits from around the league.


* Plus Zdeno Chara’s from Slovakia, which may or may not make him a familiar/friendly face, depending upon how all that occasionally complicated political stuff shakes out.


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James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.
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