The Colorado Avalanche of 2013-2014 can be summed up as follows: the greatest goalie of all-time at the helm as head coach, a top-10 goaltender, three great two-way defensemen, and four forwards on pace for 60 points. So why are they still looking for help? In a previous article, I mentioned the prospect of taking Winnipeg’s burly defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. In another trade, the Avalanche acquired Washington’s Michael Neuvirth, the goaltender who has been recently phased out of the nation’s capital, and Martin Erat. Some questioned whether the Avalanche needed a forward at all. However, Yahoo Sports has mentioned Colorado’s need for a player like Jaromir Jagr.
But why Jagr? First, coming from a full-time New Jersey Devils fan, I can confirm that the statistics do not lie: Jagr is the team’s offense; when he slumps, the team is in crisis. He and Matt Duchene both have 48 points, good for first on their respective clubs. Also stunning is that Jagr’s +21 this season is fourteenth in the league and the only players above him come from only four teams, juggernauts like Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Boston, and Chicago. Clearly, Jagr is able to supplement his offensive skill with a strong game in his own end. Even at the ripe age of 41, Jagr still produces like a star. Most importantly, though, he provides a veteran locker-room presence that Colorado severely lacks.
So why would he be available? First, the Devils have been flirting with mediocrity over the last month and are now in 7th in the metropolitan division. Although they are only three points out of a playoff spot, it remains to be seen how far they can go in the playoffs when they are only scoring one or two goals each game. Secondly (and most tellingly), Jagr is displeased with coach Peter DeBoer because of his decision to separate the Czech superstar with two-way center Travis Zajac. For those not following New Jersey (and I don’t blame you), Zajac and Jagr have both been very hot as of late, both averaging more than a point per game in the past few weeks.
Now what would it take for a deal like this to get off the ground? In my opinion, the Devils will search for a pretty penny in exchange for Jagr. In fact, I will go so far as to say that just trading Stastny for Jagr will not cut it. Jagr’s light salary will allow the Devils to bait him as a player that will give teams a bang for their buck, and New Jersey will be searching for long-term contributors, not just rentals, at the deadline. Here is my proposed trade:
Colorado Avalanche send Paul Stastny, Jamie McGinn to New Jersey Devils for Jaromir Jagr, 4th round pick
With Jagr, Colorado would have that veteran presence with great hands and a commanding voice in the locker room. Also important, Jagr’s lack of speed is incredibly noticeable in New Jersey’s slow forward corps. The Devils would take this because they are desperately searching for a winger. In addition, Stastny’s father, Peter, was a Devils mainstay in the 1990s.
So what do you think Avs fans? Do you want to see Jagr come to Denver in exchange for Paul Stastny? Leave me a comment with your thoughts and as always, thanks for reading!