We here at the FFUD labs get accused of being overly negative. And it’s true, we are, and we need to work on that. When you’ve done this as long as we have, and have to watch the same stupidity over and over again–from front offices, from media, from fans–it leads one to get jaded. There are so many things we do enjoy about doing all of this, we just have to sift through a bit more than we used to to find and hang onto them.
So let me say that the fact that Jaromir Jagr can at his age, be a useful if not plus-plus NHL player is quite amazing. His metrics really do standout, and it probably will be a while before we see someone who does the same thing at his age. Not that someone couldn’t stay in shape that long–hell, Hossa would have done it if his skin would allow–but is the motivation really there when you’ve made so much money and maybe won all that you set out to win.
Here’s the problem with Jagr’s production, though: None of it has mattered in years.
Hockey still bases most of its props and plaudits for what goes on in the playoffs. It is what we wade through a really long, tedious regular season. It’s the games we really remember. It’s what we base the banners that fly forever on, at least real fanbases do (Caps fans have their “Winter Classic Champions” one). So let’s start there.
Jagr has one goal in his last 39 playoff games. He went 0-fer the last time the Panthers were there, and included a blown coverage on an overtime goal for the Islanders that cost the Cats that series. All of Florida’s losses in that series were by one goal, three in overtime. What would have a Jagr goal meant then?
Three years before that he was aboard for the Bruins run to the Final. He was a goddamn passenger. 22 games. No goals. Do you remember him at all in the Final, other than when the B’s had a two-man advantage in Game 3? I know I don’t. Seven even-strength assists in 22 playoff games. What a dynamo.
And look where he signs. After his time with the Flyers, the last team he started a season with that had real aspirations, he went to Dallas who fucking sucked. He then got traded to Boston, where he turtled. He them moved onto the Devils, who haven’t matted since 2012. He got a trade to Florida, another hockey backwater. Six playoff games there, really only one season of even contending for the playoffs. The points are nice, but where have they taken anyone?
At this point it seems a Pete Rose-like, soulless chase for records. Maybe a couple more seasons he could have caught Gordie Howe in goals. He already has in points, and he’ll never get to Gretzky in either category. Maybe the Panthers don’t want to be used for that anymore, and that’s cool with me.
Simply by sticking around this long, everyone seems to forget that Jagr torpedoed the Penguins for four seasons after leaving bitching over money or attention or market size. They nearly moved. The Capitals were next to be sunk by the Jagr Express, simply because he didn’t give enough of a shit. And then he bitched his way to New York, until he basically deserted them so he could party with Roman Abramovich with a bunch of Russian models/dancers. He said he didn’t feel “inspired” until he spent the lockout playing for Omsk… where I’m sure he wasn’t completely lavished with anything he desired.
So yeah, you can have him.
-The other note masquerading as news in the desert that is July and August in the world of hockey is that John Scott will be at the convention. I know this isn’t something that should be worth kicking any dirt over. The convention is weird and creepy for anyone over the age of 12 and yadda yadda yadda.
Still, it annoys. Scott was only in Chicago for a season and a half, and the only people who actually thought he was popular were Scott himself and the media who wouldn’t stop gobbling up the quotes he was in a damn hurry to provide. He had Adam Burish’s moth tendencies, but with even less talent if you can imagine.
This is the problem with enforcers, or one of them, as they quickly make their way out of the game. They know they don’t really belong in the league and their time is short, so they get in front of every camera they can to make themselves look necessary. And this is how we end up with Mike Milbury and Nick Kypreos on our screens every night (disclosure: Kypreos isn’t THAT bad).
Players like Scott are fading out of the game, and they should be. And they know it, so they crave more attention before the league moves on. He shouldn’t be celebrated, because he sucked and he was never on the ice enough to actually get in a fight. Kris Versteeg had more fights in a Hawks uniform that A) mattered and B) were entertaining. So did Patrick Sharp. Fuck, so does Jonathan Toews.
Oh, and why would you want to have anyone anywhere near your organization when they have this to say about PK Subban, only 986 times the player and person that Scott is? No dog whistles there or anything.
But whatever. Scott can have his applause for maybe the last time, and then he can go forge a career off the college education he’s so happy to tell you he worked so hard for because he didn’t think he’d have an NHL career that was apparently such torture he wanted to quit every day except he didn’t go back to that college education he wants you to know he worked so hard for.
Best of luck, dope.