Well I think we have to lead off one last time talking about Jaromir Jagr. He signed a 1 year deal for $3.3 million with the rival Philadelphia Flyers. At first, I was very upset. I am 20 years old and I played hockey my entire life. Jaromir Jagr was my childhood idle and I wanted nothing more than to watch him play in a Penguins' jersey one last time. I wanted the Pens to sign Jagr because I thought he would bring something to the table that the team lacked, scoring. Now after having time to think about him joining the Flyers, I have to say that we dodged a bullet there!
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Jaromir Jagr reminds me of the Backstreet Boys. He is old, a diva, and whines when he doesn't get his way. I grew up watching Jagr and listening to the Backstreet Boys and funny thing, the Backstreet Boys just came to Pittsburgh on a tour. Like the possibility of Jagr returning, everyone around my age was pumped that they were coming back. In my opinion, the Backstreet Boys were awful! They are old and were not the same as they used to be. Jagr will be the same way.
I believe Jagr makes the Flyers a worse team. This past week, everyone forgot the bad parts of the Penguins previous relationship with Jaromir. He was baby. He cried on the bench when he felt that he wasn't getting enough powerplay minutes. For 2 straight years, he went into Mario's office and demanded a trade. Also, Jagr's last coach, Raimo Summanen of Avangard Omsk, tried to fight Jaromir after a game 6 victory in the playoffs. It is unknown why he went after Jagr but that can't be a good sign that Jagr's mentality has changed since his stint in Pittsburgh. Jaromir whines whenever things are not going right and when the fans seem to be upset with him. Philadelphia fans are relentless and that will not sit well with Jagr. He will be booed not just when he comes back to Pittsburgh but by his own fans as well when he is not producing. Good luck Jaromir, you are going to need it. Moving on...
Speaking of moving on, Max Talbot and Mike Rupp are both moving on. Talbot signed a 5 year deal, believe it or not, with the Flyers. I do not think that will be a good fit for him. Looking over the Flyers roster, it appears as if Talbot will be the second line center. That is not a good role for him at all. He is at best a third line center who can kill penalties. I think the Flyers may regret this decision. Mike Rupp joined the New York Rangers on a 3 year deal. That should be a good fit for all parties involved. Good luck to both Max and Mike in the future. I hope you guys do well on your new teams.
Enough of the departures, let's get to the good stuff. The Penguins have signed forward Steve Sullivan to a 1 year $1.5 million contract. This might be a risky deal but it could end up paying off for the Penguins. The cons of Steve Sullivan are the fact that he turns 37 in 6 days and that he has injury problems lately. On the other hand, the pros are his leadership skills, a potential top-6 winger when healthy, and a right handed shot. Sullivan is ecstatic about joining the Penguins, posting on Twitter, "Looking forward to my new start in the Steel City!" All in all, if Steve Sullivan stays healthy, this deal could end up being great.
The Penguins also signed a minor league forward today. The former Oklahoma City Baron, Colin McDonald is the newest Pittsburgh Penguin. He scored 42 goals last year for the Barons and 16 assists. This could be good pick up if those goals can transfer up to the big leagues.
The Penguins may not make anymore big moves. They may if the price is right, but it seems like maybe a minor leaguer or two. Ray Shero said in his press conference, "This is not the market to be signing players. We'll regroup with the coaches, staff and go from there." Shero is right when he says this isn't the market to be signing guys. Third and fourth line players are getting major pay days because so many teams are struggling to make it to the Salary Cap floor. A player I would like the Penguins to look into is Nicklas Bergfors. I do not know what kind of salary he is commanding but he is a young forward who torched the Penguins whenever he played in New Jersey. However, I'm not sure if Shero will be looking to make anymore moves.
This has been an interesting day all around the NHL. the biggest name so far that moved was Ville Leino who signed with the Buffalo Sabres. That will be a good fit there with his style of play. Brad Richards is still on the market and teams are making major offers for him. The biggest surprise to me is the Florida Panthers. Today, they signed free agents Sean Bergenheim, Tomas Fleischmann, Scottie Upshall, Ed Jovanoski, Jose Theodore, and Marcel Goc. All these signings go along with the acquisitions of Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg, and Tomas Kopecky. That is a major face-lift to that organization. I like seeing the Panthers being competitive. It was great to watch their playoff run back in 1995. Best of luck this year in a weak Southeast division.
I'll be back tomorrow to give a rundown of day 2 of free agency. I hope there's a lot more movement.
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