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Pittsburgh columnist says Penguins ‘still’ better off without Jagr

Dec 30, 2011, 11:36 AM EDT

Being an entertainer often comes down to “Giving the people what they want,” but in the case of Jaromir Jagr‘s return to Pittsburgh, it depended on which people you were talking about.

Obviously, the boo birds at Consol Energy Center weren’t happy after he scored a goal to help the Philadelphia Flyers win 4-2. Yet the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe probably captured the entertainment value of Jagr’s visit the most accurately in this Tweet:


The general takeaway is that Jagr’s comeback pleased the media, Flyers fans and observers without a horse in the race. Still, when you’re part of a team as long as Jagr was with the Pittsburgh Penguins, there might be a few media members who still don’t think very highly of you.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ron Cook certainly doesn’t appear to be a Jagr fan, as he called Jagr a “phony” and ultimately settled on the point that the Penguins are better off without him.

Things are going well for Jagr and the Flyers now. You wonder how he’ll be when things aren’t going his or the team’s way. How will he be if the puck stops going in for him or if his ice time gets cut? Maybe he really has changed, if you believe Laviolette. But I’m not buying it.

Cook’s argument revolved around Jagr’s moodiness and age, but it’s quite possible that Jagr might not have fit in for other reasons – such as his style. Then again, maybe it wouldn’t have worked out well simply because of the soaring expectations he likely would have faced.

It’s fascinating to imagine how well Jagr would have fit into the Penguins’ fold, but things have worked out nicely for both sides – even if it’s hard for everyone to be happy for Jagr.

  1. lsxphotog - Dec 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Hmm, he’s Jaromir Jagr. The Penguins want him, they can’t have him. If he signed the pathetic deal in Pitt they wouldn’t say one bad thing about the guy because he helped them win two cups, so they should shut up. Maybe this year he’ll help lead the Flyers to their elusive cup.

    • me6661973 - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Lol this writer must be crying hard. Jagr the best active goal scorer. Then we have the most this season. I am happy he made the deal. Pens are 0-2 for the year. Love it Max scoring empty net priceless.

  2. pens919209 - Dec 30, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    The Pittsburgh media… and fans… have been taking this Jagr thing way too personally. Before the game, all you could read about was Jagr coming back – which is a story of course – but also at stake was the chance to move ahead in the standings and get a share of the division lead (though the Rangers have a tie-breaker). No talk of that, though, could be found – it was all Jagr all the time and how he ‘slapped’ the Penguins in the face. Truth be told, none of the guys on the current Penguin team played with Jagr when he was here, so I doubt any of them really care; and clearly Ray Shero didn’t seem to think he would have been a good fit or a priority for this team. A 39 year old player who’d been out of the league for 3 years is probably not how you would want to invest your money – and while it’s worked out nicely for the Flyers, who’s to say it would have worked as well in Pittsburgh? The same fans who are angry with him for signing in Philadelphia would be criticizing his signing here if he weren’t producing to their expectations.

    In the end, it’s much ado about nothing.

  3. boltsfan777 - Dec 30, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    I know you have to promote the all important Winter Classic (doesn’t it count as one regular season game?), but when it’s finally over, can I look forward to this guys mug not being constantly displayed, and having the Flyers be the subject of every other article posted at this site?

    • spiffy53 - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:23 PM

      20 articles. 3 about jagr and 1 about the winter classic. 12 articles with no comments about other teams(that means zero from you in those 12). writers write and people read and post. the more posts, the more articles are written. it’s like complaining there are not enough articles about milli vanilli in the entertainment section.

  4. jucam1 - Dec 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Amazingly refreshing post Pens, couldn’t have said it better my self… Being a Flyers fan all I cared about was winning a much need it game vs a really good apponent to end a tough road trip and stay in the hunt after brutal injuries this season. Why the Pittsburgh media (and some fans) want to make that more than it is makes me think these guys have some agenda. Jagr has been good for the Flyers, he’s only on a one year deal adding much needed experience to a young and hungry team. The Winter Classic will be awesome but enough with the Jagr talk, how about talking about what awesome race this current Atlantic division race is going to be with the Pens, Rangers, and Flyers?… 3 young, good, and hungry teams going after the Bruins?…

    • pens919209 - Dec 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      The agenda that you’re referring to is Pittsburgh’s massive inferiority complex. It goes way beyond sports – the populace in this town seems to think that they always need to measure up to other cities (i.e. Philadelphia) to not be ridiculed or thought of as a ‘smoky, dirty city’. While some of that thinking has done wonders for the city (the boom in technology and medicine here), it also holds it back. Fans and media in this town perpetuate the thinking that we have to be seen as ‘just as good’ as everyone else, and if there’s any perceived deviation from that thought, everyone goes off of the deep end to defend the city’s image. That’s what I see as being at the heart of this in Pittsburgh – but maybe I’m reading too much into it.

      Bottom line – the Flyers played a strong, aggressive game and the Penguins were just a step behind last night. But like you said, jucam, it’s going to be a hell of a race this year in the Atlantic. Just think of next year when the Capitals come back to the block to reform the old Patrick Division in the new realignment plan. That is going to be some awesome hockey.

  5. cakrywyj - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    If you go back and look I highly doubt every other article is about the Flyers…but even if that were the case…writers write stories.. If the most compelling stories happen to be coming from one place, like the Heat in the NBA, then so be it…the spotlight is on New York and Philly right now…you’re going to have to deal with it.. They’d write about the Lightning, but I’m not sure even the people in Tampa would realize the team plays there.. Unless it was a story about underachieving…

    • me6661973 - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      It great it not another when crybaby going to play again. LOL Jagr way better.

    • boltsfan777 - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      First, my comment has nothing to do with the Lightning. I wouldn’t be writing much about them either. The Flyers just aren’t that damn compelling. We realize the Lightning are underachieving, and there are plenty of stories about that.

      Second, regarding your hackneyed remark about Tampa, hockey is bigger here than you think, and many of us play it regularly, including myself (I’m getting a couple hours ice time tonight.).
      We just happen to like to wear shorts to the rink. The Lightning attendance is ranked (10) out of (30) teams, and at the time of this post, with an average attendance of (991) less than the Flyers this year. Not bad for such a small market to draw from within an hour of the arena.

  6. polegojim - Dec 30, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Touchy fans….

    Lets see…. Jagr scores and helps Flyers beat the Pens…. who’s better off with out whom?

    Jagr got the better end of this deal.

  7. stakex - Dec 30, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Yes, because every team is is better off without another point a game player for $3 million. Who needs that kind of production… What a joke.

    The Pens and their fans are just butt hurt that they made a joke of an offer to Jagr thinking he was washed up, and it turns out hes still a top line player.

  8. pastabelly - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    My biggest concern about Jagr would be how well he holds up over the course of an NHL schedule.

    With respect to hockey in Tampa, great for them. I hope being in a conference with Florida, Boston, and Montreal helps them. It’s good for the league to be strong in the south. Atlanta is a pretty crappy market for hockey (it pretty bad for the NBA too).

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