UPDATE: Signing is now official as per the Dallas Stars. Full press release is after the jump.
The Dallas Stars continue the surprising transformation of the roster, signing yet another skilled winger to help in the transition to the young core on this team. This time, Joe Nieuwendyk and company turn to former-superstar Jaromir Jagr -- he of Pittsburgh Penguins and incredible mullet fame.
The reported deal, per ESPN and Darren Dreger of TSN, is a one-way, $4.5 million contract and it's certain that Jagr will immediately slot into a top-six forward role with the Stars. This means that in the course of just a few days, the Stars will effectively have an entirely new top-six line on the ice next season.
Jagr enjoyed a much better return to the NHL last season with the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring 19 goals and putting up 54 points in 73 games. Jagr tailed off as the season came to a close and had just one goal in the postseason, although he's stated that he's addressed the training issues that led to him wearing down last year.
This is certainly one of the strangest and potentially incredibly exciting contracts the Stars could have possibly given out. Jagr has the potential to be another dynamic forward for the Stars, who have added significant offensive firepower this summer -- even if that firepower comes in the form of two of the oldest players in the NHL. It's pretty clear at this point that the Stars are squarely focused on the future of this franchise -- but are absolutely committed to turning this is into a playoff team in the meantime.
With Jagr on the Dallas Stars, is this suddenly a postseason contending hockey team?
DALLAS STARS SIGN JAROMIR JAGR TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT FRISCO, TX
The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed forward Jaromir Jagr to a one-year, $4.55 million contract for the 2012-13 season.
Jagr, 40, is one of the most prolific scorers in NHL history, placing first all-time in overtime goals (16), second in game-winning goals (114), eighth in points (1,653), 11th in goals (665) and 12th in assists (988). Among active NHL players, Jagr is first in points, goals, assists, plus/minus (+280) and game-winning goals (114), and second in games played (1346) and power play goals (189).
The native of Kladno, Czech Republic, spent the 2011-12 campaign with Philadelphia, placing third on the Flyers in points (54), assists (34) and power play goals (8), and fifth in goals (19).
"Jaromir Jagr is, without a doubt, one of the best players in the history of this league, and he demonstrated last season that he remains incredibly skilled, productive and valuable," said Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk. "We see him fitting into our top two lines and contributing heavily to our offensive attack. We're very excited about adding a player of Jaromir’s caliber to our club."
In his 18-year NHL career with Pittsburgh, Washington, New York Rangers and Philadelphia, Jagr has never earned a sub-50 point campaign and has the most 50-plus-point seasons in that time span. Jagr recorded 15 consecutive 70-or-more point NHL seasons from 1992-2008, an NHL record.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound winger has earned more than 100 points in a season on four occasions, most recently in 2005-06 with the Rangers (123 points). Jagr’s most prolific year came in 1995-96 with Pittsburgh, when he recorded 149 points, the 16th-highest single-season point total in NHL history and the highest-ever by a right wing.
A two-time Stanley Cup champion with Pittsburgh (1991 and 1992), Jagr ranks first among active players in Stanley Cup playoff goals (78), assists (111), points (189), power play goals (24) and game-winning goals (16).
Jagr won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP in 1999, and was a finalist for the award on five other occasions. He is a five-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer and has three times won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the players’ selection as the league’s most outstanding player. He has skated in nine NHL All-Star Games and has been chosen to the NHL’s postseason First All-Star Team seven times.
Jagr led the Czech Republic to the gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, as well as the bronze medal at the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy. In total, he has represented his country at four Winter Olympic Games (also 2002, 2010) and was the flag bearer for the Czech Republic at the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies. A two-time gold medalist at the IIHF World Championships (2005, 2010), he has recorded 82 points (35 goals, 47 assists) in 96 career games at the senior International level.