Columbus Blue Jackets Should Target Jaromir Jagr

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 26: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky
SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 26: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky /

Future Hall of Fame forward Jaromir Jagr is still floating around free agency. Despite going younger with the majority of their roster, the Columbus Blue Jackets should give the 45-year-old a look.

News emerged yesterday that Russian star Ilya Kovalchuk decided to not make a return to the NHL. The Columbus Blue Jackets were reportedly one of the heaviest (and only) suitors of the former New Jersey Devils forward.

With no chance of adding an offensive power like Kovalchuk and trade talks still ongoing for Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, it might be time for the Columbus Blue Jackets to look in free agency for some offense.

Related Story: What are the CBJ's options at center without Matt Duchene?

In FA, there’s not a lot of options in good offensive players. But there is a guy that we all know and love (you better love him, dammit), and his name is Jaromir Jagr.

The middle-aged Czech is a future Hall of Fame inductee, but he has no intentions of retiring anytime soon. In an interview with Pierre LeBrun in April, Jagr was adamant about continuing to play.

"LEBRUN: I know you’ve joked about playing until you’re 50, but honestly you look like you can —JAGR: I wasn’t joking. I was serious. I’m not joking. If God gives me the health, I will."

Full interview on

And he sure got the health. Jagr finished the 2016-2017 season with 46 points while playing in all 82 games with the Florida Panthers. Admittedly, it was quite a down year for him when compared to the previous year.

In 2015-2016, Jagr finished seventh in Hart Memorial Trophy voting after scoring 27 goals and assisting on 39 for a combined 66 points in 79 games.

Although that drop in production is worrisome, it’s still pretty good. If Jagr had been on the Blue Jackets this past season, his 46 points would’ve been good enough for seventh-most on the team.

The CBJ really need that kind of offense too. During the final three weeks of the season, the Jackets were third-to-last in goals (21 in 11 games), last in power play goals (1), and last in power play efficiency (1/20 or 5%). That led to an abysmal 3-6-2 record in that time, and falling out of Presidents’ Trophy contention.

There is risk in picking up an older player like Jagr, though; his health and play can be unpredictable. It’s unknown when he will stop being able to skate on the ice almost every night, or when he won’t be able to score or pass competently.

Jagr knows that, but he’s playful about it.

I completely understand the worries of picking up a forty-something player that has well passed his prime. If the Blue Jackets decide to not sign (or even call) Jagr, I’ll be alright with it. The team is going young and are in need of a first-line center rather than a bottom-six winger. But Jagr is an option, and not a bad one. He has the skills to keep going for a few more years, in my opinion.

A one-year contract would be a good deal for both sides as Jagr would be able to keep playing the game he loves, and the Blue Jackets would reap the rewards of having an offensive playmaker and veteran on their side after parting with Scott Hartnell.

It’d also be pretty sick to see one of the all-time greats in a CBJ uniform.