Calgary Flames get Jaromir Jagr. Now what will happen?

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 08: Jaromir Jagr
SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 08: Jaromir Jagr /

Now that the Calgary Flames have signed Jaromir Jagr, what will the domino effect be?  Who stays?  Who goes?  Most importantly, WHY?  Read on for some fairly aggressive speculation and my thoughts on why his signing is actually a failure for the team.

It finally happened.  After months of rumours, tweets, predictions, opinions and an entire training camp, the Calgary Flames have finally signed ageless winger Jaromir Jagr.  Excited fans can now officially look forward to seeing number 68 wearing the Flaming C.

I have mixed emotions.

There is, of course, a lot to be excited about, his contract most of all.  His $1 million cap hit is FAR less than I expected him to sign for, on any team.  He is now the lowest-paid player on the team of all skaters not on an Entry Level Contract.

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

This is the best of all possible contract scenarios.  Given declines in both his foot speed and offensive production, no team was ready to invest in Jagr for goals or points.  In fact, Jagr’s true value to the Flames is as a mentor.  There is legitimately nobody the team would rather have influencing the likes of Sam Bennett, Mark Jankowski and  Curtis Lazar than the guy who cut his teeth playing with Mario Lemieux and against Wayne Gretzky. In that way, the $1 million is more than well spent.

There is a downside, however. Not all of the aforementioned Flames, who would benefit most from Jagr’s teachings, are likely to be team mainstays, ironically, by virtue of his acquisition.

As of this writing, there are still decisions to be made pertaining to the Calgary Flames’ fourth line. Names like Jankowski, Freddie Hamilton, Lazar and Tanner Glass all remain.  Presumably, Jagr would displace Troy Brouwer on the third line with Bennett and Kris Versteeg.  That would punt Brouwer to the fourth line, leaving only one spot left, assuming Matt Stajan stays in place.

So who, among Lazar, Hamilton, Glass and Jankowski, stays?

The obvious answer would be Jankowski.  He had a tremendous camp, leading the team in preseason games played and goals. But burying Jankowski’s obvious offensive talent on a checking line seems a waste.  He should be at centre ice and in a position to put points on the board.  So a fourth line spot, or an occasional third line position which may relegate him to the press box, when he would obviously benefit from more and meaningful minutes, are both counter-intuitive.

By that rationale, the equation seems simple. Jagr in equals Jankowski out.

That makes the Jagr signing somewhat unfortunate, in my opinion.  General Manager Brad Treliving has obviously analyzed his assets and found some of them wanting. He was dissatisfied with what he had. And the net result will perhaps be sending off the team’s top prospect.

It also means one or more of Hamilton, Lazar, or Glass failed to instil confidence which, in my opinion, makes this year’s training camp a bit of a failure. Among that group, it should have been easy to slot one or two guys on either side of centre. That does not seem to be the case.

Next: Calgary Flames Daily: Jaromir Jagr is officially a Flame

Don’t misunderstand me. I am looking forward to seeing Jagr in a Flames jersey. I just wish Treliving’s original had played well enough to put him in a position where number 68 wasn’t necessary.