Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jagr Haters? Hardly.

Rumors are abuzz throughout the blogosphere that Avangard Omsk - the Russian hockey league - is offering New York Ranger forward Jaromir Jagr upwards to $12 million to play in this upcoming season, which puts our very own GM Glen 'Slats' Sather in quite the precarious position as he is currently negotiating with Jags, probably looking to secure some one-t0-two year deal for less than he was paying him this current season - with incentive bonuses. Stay tuned.

While we eagerly await our 2009-10 fate of whether Tom Renney will finally coach (for real) our team without Jagr or will he (pretend to) coach with Jagr in the lineup, I thought it was thoughtful to look back at the playoffs and see what the Pittsburgh fans really think of their ex-Pittsburgh Penguin Jagr , when Jags played side-by-side to Lemieux's #1 seating. The very fact that Pittsburgh fans boo'ed him every time he touched the puck this season is a good reading of 'Jagr Hating', but in looking a little closer the reality was very different. (As you know, The Dark Ranger has been accused of being a "Jagr Hater" myself (which I am not - "it's just time to move on...")).


from Mike244:
''I have been a Pittsburgh Pens fan all my life.''
You should be ashamed of yourself saying anything negative about Jagr after what this man did for your hockey team .You and the rest of the pitt boobirds should not be so quick to forget. Ask any Ranger fan if they ever booed Messier when he came back to the garden in a Cannucks uniform, Leach in a Bruins uniform. the answer is NO, Why Beacause Ranger Fans Have CLASS .something all of pitts. needs to learn .BTW IT AINT OVER TILL ITS OVER !!!!

from JGBerc:
I have never really understood the venom Penguins fans display to one of the all-time greats in Jaromir Jagr. It makes me very sad and cringe every time the igloo boos him. It seems like one, people forget what Jagr did while he was a Penguin, I don't. He carried this franchise during some of the darkest days of the Penguins era. Two, people also forget that Jagr, though vocal about his desire to be traded, knew there was no other option. Do people forget the team was in financial ruin? Do they forget this team was in danger of leaving the city?

It was not just Jagr who was victim of the post Howard Baldwin spending spree. Was he not supposed to take the money? Baldwin spent like a teenage girl with a credit card at Macys. Ron Francis, Martin Straka, Alexei Kovalev, and Robert Lang were among many players who simply had to be moved due to financial constraints. In the pre-salary cap NHL, many teams could not keep up with the free spending Red Wings, Flyers, and Rangers. Jagr saw the writing on the wall and personally, I think he asked for a trade because he knew there was no other options. Out of respect for Mario Lemieux, he took the role as bad guy. Could he have handled the situation better? Sure, but he and the Pens were out of options.

Look at it this way. If Jagr does not get traded...Pens never get Marc-Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. The Pens are likely playing in Kansas City or Seattle. Mario Lemieux is not the super-hero he is deservedly considered to be now for saving the Pens. We are not waiting for a beatiful new arena. We are watching another team dominate the NHL like no one has in a long time.

To anyone reading this who boos Jagr every time he touches the puck. Did you become a Pens fan after Sidney Crosby got drafted? Did you not watch Jagr play a critical role in winning two Stanley Cups? Did you not have the pleasure of watching the best player not named Lemieux or Gretzky for a decade? Next time you feel like being a dim wit and booing someone who was a victim of circumstance and the mismanagement of others, think about it and shut up. Im done ranting...Lets go Pens.

from GoHabsGo:
For anyone that boos Jags at the Igloo, you must be one of those Pens fans who didn't know any of the Pens' names 2 seasons ago. Jagr's a big reason the Pens won their last cup. I think you should go back to playing tiddlywinks. Bloody bandwagoners who suddenly think they know something about hockey.. ugh!

from The Burgh Blog:
I realize that the following are true:
  • Jaromir Jagr is no longer a Penguin and hasn’t been one for a long long time.
  • Jaromir Jagr had/has a gambling problem.
  • As a good Burgher, I should boo and hate and possibly try to Juju-curse Jaromir Jagr, because he is a “traitor” and because he talks smack about Sid.
  • However, all of the following are true as well:
  • I love Jaromir Jagr. I always have and unless he hunts me down and sticks an angry pigeon down my shirt, I always will.
  • If I wasn’t already dealing with the constant bickering of three very different imaginary self-united husbands, I’d totally self-unite with Jaromir Jagr, too.
  • Jaromir Jagr is a fun name to say.
  • When Jaromir Jagr and Ruutu were jawing at each other yesterday, and Jaromir threw some jesting kissy-kisses at Ruutu, resulting in Ruutu pushing him to the ice in anger … I loved Jaromir Jagr all the more. I love Ruutu, but come on, that was awesome.
  • When the game was over and Jaromir Jagr didn’t just shake the hands of the Pens, but looked every single one of our boys in the eyes and congratulated them with sincere graciousness and a smile on his face … well, I wonder if Jaromir Jagr has any babies he’d like me to birth for him? (Coming up at 11:00!)
  • As suggested to me by a reader, I completely agree that the Pens should sign Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract so that he can end his career as a Penguin.

from BolognaMan03:
I have never and will never boo Jaromir Jagr at a Penguins game for several reasons, about 429 of them. After watching his spirited play last night and his solid play throughout the playoffs I hope he doesn't go to the Russian Super League next year. Jagr is still a great player and should continue to play in the NHL. If the next game is perhaps his last in the NHL, as he stated, then I wish Jagr the best and hope he goes into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Penguins.

from PSUimu sai
If Jaromir Jagr hates Pittsburgh so much, then why does he maintain a residence in Muraysville PA and rent it to... you guessed it... Peter Sykora? They're really close friends. In fact, Jagr still stays there when he's in town against the Pens. Dateline...1992...conference semi-finals.... Mario Lemieux gets his wrist broken by Adam Graves. The ENTIRE WORLD believed that Mario WAS the Penguins, and just like Evgeni Malkin in this day and age, Jagr stepped up his game, helping the Penguins sweep the next 12 games and win the 1992 Stanley Cup. Certain Pens fans forget this. If you have questions about Jagr... just like the interview thanking his mentor, remember this...

J A R O M I R when rearranged spells MARIO JR.


So with that, there is some Jagr sentiment in The Igloo -- not that us Rangers fans need to cheer on the Atlantic Division during the Stanley Cup finals this weekend, but it was a surprise to see how much support Jaromir Jagr has received from his former fan base.

Let's go Red Wings and bring on the "Sid Haters", a more timely discussion point as the first game arrives this Saturday.


1 comment:

  1. 1) The RHL team may have offered JJ mega bucks that he wouldn't get in a new deal in the NHL, but we get the feeling that jagr wants to play another season or 2 against the best competiton, even if he has to take a pay cut of 'only' 5 mil
    2) In the end JJ will probably play a couple of years in Europe after his NHL days are over. Not to worry, Jagr won't need a benefit if he takes less money to stay in NY. At some point its more about ego than the cash.


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