Archive for the ‘Jaromir Jagr’ Category

All Decade Team: Deirdre’s Picks

March 2, 2009

So I should have been the first person to whip these out, because I have to admit, while there is a little room for argument…really most of these are blatantly obvious and have already been picked.  So no earth shattering picks on this one.  The Puck Huffers beat me to the wacky picks (nice post by the way).  Plus, nice arguments by everyone on the already chosen players…so that being said here are my picks and my brief explanations.  

First some ground rules.  I personally think to be on the AD Team, you have to have a few qualifying things:

-a Stanley Cup

-an individual award (i.e. Art Ross, Conn Smythe)

-a couple of playoff appearances

-success at the international level

Center:  Peter Forsberg

Alright, since this is basically a fantasy team.  I want to set up my fantasy.  Forsberg is totally healthy: no ankle/spleen/wrist/flu/african sleeping sickness.  He’s also shirtless and bearing a whip, but I suppose that’s a different fantasy.  

The argument is simple: when he’s healthy, he’s a beast.  Of course in reality Forsberg is the poster boy for injured reserve.  But the bottom-line is that he makes the people he plays with better.  My grandmother could score 50 goals on a line with Forsberg.  Stats, facts and figures have been tossed around a lot, but I leave you with this.  

Whoa dudes, I can’t feel my spleen!”


Two Stanley Cups, Art Ross Trophy, Calder Memorial Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, 7 All-Star selections, 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 2 Gold World Championships…all from a guy who is known for being injured.  

Wings: Jaromir Jagr and Martin St. Louis

Really there is not a lot to be said about Jagr.  Yes, he’s had issues with motivation and temperament (as nicely as I can put it).  But he’s a legend in this sport.  I know his glory years were mainly in the early 90’s, but he also was among the best players in this decade too.  I think that’s more reason to put him on this team.  

I don’t feel the need to list all of his accomplishments, but multiple cups, multiple personal awards, multiple NHL records….he’s a no brainer.

St. Louis is a slightly different story.  I almost picked Iggy, but I had to give the nod to St. Louis. Statistically, the two have similar points to game totals, but Marty’s got the cup.  Plain and simple.

The Pearson is taller than St. Louis


He was a standout college player.  He’s got the Hart, the Art Ross and a Lester B. Pearson Award and an Olympic medal.

Defense: Nik Lidstrom and Scott Niedermayer

I refuse to even make the case for Lidstrom because if you don’t think he belongs on this team, you are plum crazy.  The only question is will the league rename the Norris trophy the “Lidstrom-wins-this-every-year trophy.”  In fact, Lid is the captain of my AD Team.  He’s also the guy who visits children in the hospital and kisses the babies.

Niedermayer is nearly as much of a no-brainer as Lidstrom.  Pronger is left out in the cold for the same reason as Iginla: hasn’t won the big one yet.

Goalie: Marty Brodeur

Seriously, no competition on this one.  As of this writing, Brody has put in the books his 100th career shutout.

I think that Brody may actually be made of metal


Coach: Mike Babcock

Hasn’t been fired in the decade and won the big prize.  His teams end up in the playoffs.

Fighter: Chris Simon

This is a weird one, but go with me on it.  I am lumping fighter/goon/pest into this and I think for my money it’s Chris Simon.  The man is pure evil.  In fact, he’s anti-Lidstrom.  He’s drop kicking babies and unplugging the IV’s of children in the hospital.  Would I want him on my team: no.  Do I think he could kill Sid the Kid: yes.  This guy has a cup!  Can you believe that?  Iggy’s got nothing.  Proof we live in an imperfect world.  

So why is he winning this category in my mind.  8 Suspensions totaling 65 games missed.  He’s missed nearly a full season in suspensions and to my knowledge all the suspensions have occurred in this decade.  So maybe he doesn’t win the fighter award, but he does win the horrible human being award.

Loudmouth: Jeremy Roenick

I *heart* JR.

So that’s the AD Team.  Hope you enjoy them!

–Dre

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All-Decade Team: Joe Pelletier’s picks

February 19, 2009

(Cycle like the Sedins asked some of the hockey blogosphere’s best and brightest to help choose the All-Decade team. During the next few days, we’ll post each response until it’s time to decide the final roster.

First up: the venerable Joe Pelletier. Pelletier runs the fantastic hockey history blog Greatest Hockey Legends and also is the go-to source for hockey book reviews. Of all the great sources of information in the blogosphere, Pelletier’s blog might teach you the most about our favorite sport.)
Goaltender –

Martin Brodeur. I do believe that a couple of goalies reached higher zeniths during the past 10 years – Roberto Luongo most notably, maybe Jose Theodore and Miikka Kiprusoff too. But Brodeur was great all decade. The others were great for one or two years.

Brodeur does benefit from a generational change that saw the old timers leave him be, and the new comers come along a little to late for true consideration for this decade.

Defense –

#1. Nicklas Lidstrom. D’uh.

#2. Scott Niedermayer. Chris Pronger may have won a Hart, but Niedermayer won a Conn Smythe, evening out that debate. He also was a key player for Canada at the Olympics, whereas Pronger was quiet in 2002 and horrible in 2006.

Center –

Joe Sakic. I have to go with Sakic. Joe Thornton may be the highest scoring center by far, but he has failed in the playoffs and at the Olympics. Sakic thrived in both situations time and again.

Wings –

#1. Jarome Iginla – The ultimate power forward of the decade, his offensive numbers are right up there. He was a key member of the 2002 Olympic gold medal team, and remains a key member years later. And he willed Calgary to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Hockey’s ultimate warrior also is known as hockey’s ultimate nice guy.

#2 – Jaromir Jagr – His offensive numbers are undeniable.

Fighter –

Derek Boogaard – I’m scared of him when I’m on my couch watching him on tv.

Coach –

Mike Babcock – His success rate sets him apart. And he encourages a beautiful form of hockey.

Loudmouth –

Don Cherry – Gotta go with Grapes on that one. Loudmouth of the past three decades.

(Good stuff, Joe! Stop by any time you’d like. We’ll keep the seat warm for you.)

All-Decade Team: Wings

January 19, 2009

Jaromir Jagr

(737 points – 301 goals and 436 assists in REG; 62 points – 22 goals, 40 assists in playoffs)Awards: Two Art Ross trophies, two Lester B. Pearson trophies, four time All-Star, three time First-Team All-Star

If you read my treatise on Jagr you already know where I stand. Just to recap: he was a deadly goal scorer with sublime passing skills. Jagr had the strength to shed checkers and the speed to leave the best defensemen in the dust. Simply a Frankenstein monster of offense.

Daniel Alfredsson

(677 points – 265 goals and 412 assists in REG; 61 points – 30 goals, 31 assists in playoffs)

Awards: two-time All-Star

There seems to be two camps regarding “Alf.” On one side, there are the Alfredsson enthusiasts who point to his multi-dimensional and unselfish style of play. Yet on the other side of the fence, there are the people against him who criticize his playoff performances (not to mention the way he acted toward Scott Niedermayer in the SCF).

Whatever way you lean, it’s hard to deny Alfredsson’s impressive body of work. He might not sport the emotional leadership of Iginla or the offensive flashiness of Jagr, but Alfie is one of the best of his era.

Dany Heatley

(512 points – 240 goals and 272 assists in REG; 35 points – 10 goals, 25 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Calder trophy, First-team All-Star once, two time All-Star

Heatley went from tragedy in Atlanta to an impressive run to the Stanley Cup Finals in a short period of time. Over the last few seasons, he’s established himself as one of the game’s most devastating snipers alongside Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Jarome Iginla

(680 points – 330 goals and 350 assists in REG; 43 points – 24 goals, 19 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Four time All-Star, First team All-Star, two Rocket Richard trophies (one in a three-way tie with Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalchuk, one won outright) Lester B. Pearson trophy

There were a few years in which I advanced this argument: if J.S. Giguere gets a Conn Smythe in a losing effort, then why not Jarome Iginla a year later? Yes, Brad Richards had an amazing playoff run. But Richards was one of three stars in Tampa would could come up with big plays – Iginla carried the Flames offense by himself. All the way to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Still, that Smythe trophy voting was acceptable … but the way he was robbed of a Hart trophy was atrocious. Despite the fact that Iginla lead the league in scoring with 96 points on an awful Flames team, one voter left him off the ballot altogether. This move allowed one year wonder in Jose Theodore to win the MVP and raised legitimate questions of racism.

Beyond all that, Iginla’s had a borderline HOF decade. Only Jaromir Jagr beats him in points among wingers. Plus, “Jarmoe” brought more to the table than a wicked wrister. He’s been the ultimate leader: combining clutch scoring, toughness and a willingness to drop the gloves if need be.

Naturally, dropping the gloves forced him to miss some games and might hurt his standing with some voters.

Martin St. Louis

(547 points – 224 goals and 323 assists in REG; 48 points – 23 goals, 25 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four-time All-Star, first team All-Star once, one Art Ross, Pearson and Hart trophy

It doesn’t get much more Disney than the story of Martin St. Louis. He went from being an unwanted, undrafted free agent to becoming the league’s MVP and a Stanley Cup champion. If ESPN’s bitter hatred had not been at an all-time high at that point, his would have been one of the sport stories of the year.

Marian Hossa

(662 points – 306 goals and 356 assists in REG; 59 points – 25 goals, 34 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four-time All-Star

Though they were unable to keep him in Atlanta, getting Hossa for Heatley might qualify as the only time “Thrashers GM Don Waddell” and “impressive job” could be mentioned in the same sentence without words like “completely un-” because Hossa might be Heater’s equal. His defensive skills make up for a slight loss in pizazz.

Nearly half of Hossa’s playoff output came last year during the Penguins run to the SCF. That performance showed what Hossa is capable of with a top-end center.

Markus Naslund

(640 points – 286 goals and 354 assists in REG; 30 points – 12 goals, 18 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four All-Star games, Pearson award, three time First-Team All-Star

Recent years haven’t been too kind to the Swedish sniper, but Naslund was one of the true elite forwards in the NHL during his peak years in the early part of the decade.

Brendan Shanahan

(539 points – 256 goals and 283 assists in REG; 50 points – 22 goals, 28 assists in playoffs)

Awards: three All-Star games, one time First-Team All-Star

Most of Shanahan’s best years came before the decade started, but he still put up some very nice power forward numbers. Being on three Stanley Cup winners with Detroit cannot hurt either (although two of those Cups came before the time period in question)

Not enough yet: Alex Ovechkin (if the lockout didn’t happen he might be close enough), Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash

An in-depth look at the wildly underappreciated career of Jaromir Jagr

October 30, 2008

People who read my stuff about the Stars (and previously about the Kings if you go in the way back machine) would probably be surprised to know that once my snarky armor is pierced, my hockey heart sports a Pittsburgh Penguins logo.

The Penguins were an easy team to love. Over the years, man-crushes were developed for Stu Barnes, Alex Kovalev, Martin Straka, Johan Hedberg and Ron Tugnutt. Some sports fans hold grudges when a player leaves but those guys always reserved a soft spot. And, of course, Mario Lemieux is the Patron Saint of Pucks.

But I became a fan of the Penguins after the years of their mini-dynasty and Lemieux only occasional graced my hockey viewing presence. When he did he owned the sports world. Eli Manning leading the New York Giants to the Super Bowl made my sports year, but I still don’t know if it tops Lemieux’s post-retirement run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Loving Lemieux and many supporting cast members is easy, but if there’s one player in Penguins history who divides fans it’s Jaromir Jagr.

We may disagree about Jagr’s legacy, but I think we all frown upon his ludicrous Brazilian.

Many fans booed him every time he touches the puck. They made (admittedly pretty damn funny) “dying alive” references, mocked his John Daly-ian gambling mishaps and never forgave him for the way it ended. Make no mistake about: Jagr and the Penguins had an ugly divorce. Really, it might have submarined the franchise if not for the Crosby lottery. It might have left spurned Penguins fans muttering Kris bleepin’ Beech in the same way Boston Red Sox fans once cursed Brett Boone‘s less talented brother.

A lot of fans forget how great Jagr was. They let the diva antics, the bad divorce, the Capitals disaster and unfortunate facial hair cast a shadow over a Hall of Fame career.

I’m not one of those fans.

Really, the early-to-mid 90s were a tragic era for hockey superstars. As much as I hated Eric Lindros and disliked the (retrospectively justified) Lemieux comparisons heaped on Peter Forsberg, the stars of the obstruction/neutral zone trap era may never get their due. Scoring 100 points in the 80s usually meant that you were an all-star. Hitting 100 in the New Jersey Devils’ “golden” era was a sure sign of a superstar.

The bottom of the post chronicles Jagr’s underrated dominance of the NHL throughout his unappreciated career. But here’s a few bullet points to make Jagr haters grit their teeth.

  • Jagr is ninth all-time in points. In NHL history. And this is after forfeiting the last two or three years of his prime.
  • Oh yeah, and the only guy above him who played a majority of his games during the 90s is Joe Sakic (who has 1638 to Jagr’s 1599 points). But Sakic played in 100 more games so it’s still safe to say that Jagr was the most prolific scorer of his generation. Suck on that.
  • The thing that made Jagr so damned unstoppable was that he was just as likely to score a goal as he was to set one up. He ranks 12th all-time for goals scored. Brendan Oldmanahan DOES have four more goals on his resume … of course, he needed more than 200 extra games to do so.
  • Want evidence that people hate him just a little too much?

Take a look at these stats and play a little game of “one of these things is not like the other.”

Art Ross trophies: 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
Lester B. Pearson trophies: 1999, 2000, 2006
NHL first team All-Star: 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006
Hart trophies: 1999

That’s what happens when you leave the voting up to the media. It happens in the NBA (where the Shaq-Kobe debate for best player in the NBA seemed to happen everywhere but on media ballots during their LA years) and other sports: the sexiest story beats the bland perennial dominator. And when that bland perennial dominator is a diva with a mullet, then getting black balled is only natural.

(To be fair, MVP voting isn’t usually as bad as coach of the year voting … since this year’s coach of the year could be next year’s unintentional studio analyst)

  • He holds a bunch of all-time records for right wings and for the New York Rangers.
  • Considering the venom spewed at Jagr, you would think he never showed up when it mattered the most but Jagr was extremely clutch. He has 181 points in 169 career playoff games.
  • He’s tied with Mats Sundin for all-time postseason overtime goals with 9 (kind of irrelevant, but it gave me a chuckle).
  • He’s also won two Stanley Cups and an Olympic gold medal.
  • Consistency might not be a word associated with Jagr, but really that’s just another example of rampant hate. Two of his career records (most consecutive seasons with 30 goals and most consecutive 70-point seasons, both at 15) show that he was a machine for a decade and a half.
  • He’s second all-time with 112 game winning goals.
  • Seriously, you can manipulate stats in any way you see fit … but Jagr’s career numbers are just plain staggering. So reach down deep inside what remains of your soul and admit that Jagr is the best forward of his era. Even if he never was the league leader in warm-and-fuzzies.

Take a look at Jagr’s prime years in context and it becomes clear just how special he truly was:

1992-1993

94 points in 81 games.

1993-94

99 points in 80 games. (9th best in NHL)

1994-95 (the other lockout)

Tied for first in scoring with Eric Lindros (70 points each in under 50 games played)

1995-96

Mario Lemieux (161 points in 70 GP!)

2. Jagr (149 in 82 GP)

3. Joe Sakic (120 in 82 GP)

Sure, Lemieux helped but he still beat Sakic by 29 points!

Montana – Rice; Jordan – Pippen; Lemieux – Jagr.

1996-97

Missed 19 games, but was still 6th in the NHL with 95 points.

1997-98

1. Jaromir Jagr (35 goals, 102 points overall in 77 games)

2. Peter Forsberg (91 in 72)

3. Pavel Bure (90 in 82)

1998-99

1. Jagr (44 G, 83 A and 127 points in 81 games)

Blew away second place Paul Kariya by 20 points!

1999-2000

Managed to lead the league in scoring with 96 points in only 63 games played. Pavel Bure came in second with 94 points in 74 games. The only top-10 guy with similar GP was Joe Sakic who managed 81 points in 60 games.

2000-01

Another scoring title for Jagr (52 G, 69 A and 121 points in 81 games) although Sakic was breathing down his neck (54 G, 64 A and 118 points in 82 games).

2001-02

His run with the Capitals didn’t go too well, but he still put up some numbers. He matched Sakic’s 79 point performance, only Burnaby Joe played in 82 games compared to the Mulleted One’s 69. That was good enough to tie them for 5th place.

(This year goes down in Hart Trophy voting infamy when Jarome Iginla was denied the MVP because some abysmally racist hockey writer LEFT IGINLA — THE SCORING LEADER ON A SHITTY FLAMES TEAM — OFF HIS BALLOT ALTOGETHER.

Look on the bright side Mr. Racist Hockey Writer … it’s not like Iginla made you look like a tool by becoming the Flames all time goal scoring leader while Jose Theodore turned out to be a flash in the pan. Or anything. You douche bag.)

That shit still makes me mad. Although, maybe it’s my naivete and it wasn’t racism after all?

He didn’t make the top 10 in (2002-03, 2003-04)

2005-06 (post lockout)

1. Joe Thornton‘s magical trade year mostly w/ SJ: (29 G, a ridiculous 96 A, 125 points in 81 games)

2. Jagr (54 G, 69 A for 123 points in 82 games) on what was, in my opinion, a far inferior New York Rangers team.

3. Alex Ovechkin’s Calder trophy lookatmenotCrosby year (106 points)

It’s hard to argue with Jumbo Joe winning that Hart Trophy, but who knows how many people chose him over Jagr because he took the scoring title by two points…


2006-07

No. 8 in scoring with 96 points including 30 goals.

2007-08

A down year with only 71 points, although he often carried the New York Rangers in the playoffs with an impressive 5 G, 10 A and 15 points in only 10 playoff games.

My main sources for Jagr’s career stats were the immortal hockeydb.com and the run by mortals Wikipedia.