Almost since he first departed the NHL, fans of different teams have wondered how much Jaromir Jagr might be able to help their team if he were willing to return to the league. David Staples of Cult of Hockey set off a minor firestorm – including some potshots from a local beat reporter – when he passed on a story from fellow reporter Peter Adler that the Edmonton Oilers had talked with Jagr, a story that was confirmed by Jagr himself later in the season.

Two seasons removed from NHL duty, Jagr is about to represent his country at this month’s Olympics. If he performs well, I would not be at all surprised to see him back in the league for 2010-11. I’m not alone in that assessment – former Jagr coach and current Oilers associate coach Tom Renney said much the same earlier this season:

“[Jagr] and I text back and forth. I talked to him about six weeks ago. He’s on our radar. He has NHL years ahead of him. No question.”

How much NHL hockey Jagr has left in him is anybody’s guess, but aside from watching him at the Olympics we can also use his work in the KHL to guess at his NHL numbers if he were to return to North America. Gabriel Desjardins has formed a list of league translation numbers, based on how players historically have performed after moving from one league to another. Using his numbers, we can guess at what Jagr might have done is he had spent the last two years in the NHL instead of with Omsk.

Here are Jagr’s numbers for the past three years; 2007-08 was his last season in the NHL and his numbers for 2008-09 and 2009-10 are projected over 82 games and adjusted using the Desjardins number linked to above:

Season Type GP G A PTS
2007-08 Actual 82 25 46 71
2008-09 Projected 82 31 35 66
2009-10 Projected 82 31 28 59

The 71 points Jagr put up in 2007-08 represented a post-lockout low for him; he’d had both 123-point and 96-point seasons in the two previous years with the New York Rangers. Looking at these projections, the bad news is that it doesn’t appear Jagr has rebounded; both seasons so far show a slight decrease in offence. However, the good news is that it certainly looks like Jagr can still contribute, albeit at a reduced level – in the 30 goal, 30 assist range.

Comments (3)

  1. Even though he wouldnt be the 90-120 plus point Jaromir Jagr of years ago, I think he would be solid contributor and good offensive option for any team. 60-70 points is pretty good from him or any player pushing their late 30′s. The only draw back in signing Jagr is he is going to demand a high dollar contract with any team that wants to sign to him and you dont how many productive years he has left in the tank.

  2. Pfft… Based on who is on the Oilers Roster, I seriously doubt that the team is particularly concerned with whether or not someone can actually play hockey before they hand out long-term big money contracts. That being said, while it is conceivable that we could see him with a 3 year deal worth at least 15M with the Oilers, we would see him give up his position in the KHL as Biggest Star in the League, and the associated giant pile of money that goes with the title (isn’t it like 10M+ per year?).

    So, if you’re already getting that much more money to play in Russia, why would you come back to the NHL unless it was to try to go for the Stanley again? Does anyone think the Oilers have a hope in hell of being anywhere near the hardware within Jagr’s “useful NHLer years” window? Because if you do, please be sure to share whatever reality-altering substance you are using/abusing.

  3. Hall (draft pick if lucky) , Hemsky and Jagr ? Svennson , Penner , Gagner ? Horcoff , O’Sullivan/Eberle , Mueller (by trade for Cogs )? Maybe even a Riley Nash thrown in . Plante emerging on defence and a healthy Khabibulin ? Now thats a lineup that could certainly make things interesting if nothing else . Depends on what they will have come next season , to surrounding a Jagr type player . Don’t see how they could afford him with their financial strait jacket to begin with ? A lot of player shuffling will have to happen before we even see what Oilers can muster up for a roster next season .

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