Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils for draft picks
New Jersey Devils winger Jaromir Jagr (68) skates with the puck as St. Louis Blues centre David Backes chases during NHL play at the Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
Jaromir Jagr was supposed to be a Chicago Blackhawk. Or a Boston Bruin (again). Or maybe even enjoy a return stint as a Washington Capital.
With available quality forwards being a scarce commodity heading into Monday's trade deadline, those, at least, were some of the most highly speculated landing spots for the veteran winger, whose days with the moribund New Jersey Devils were numbered.
But a Florida Panther?
Who saw that coming, other than Panthers GM Dale Tallon?
Give Tallon credit for being proactive. In acquiring Jagr, Tallon didn't have to give up a player off his roster, all the while sending the message to the hockey world that the Panthers are all-in in their attempts to hunt down the Boston Bruins for the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference.
In the end, the Panthers gave up a second round pick in 2015 and a Devils option of Florida's third- or Minnesota’s third-rounder in 2016. In the process, Jagr now joins his eighth NHL team.
Earlier this week, Jagr told New Jersey reporters that his ice time, which has been going down of late, would continue to shrivel if he wasn't dealt by the deadline.
"If I stay here and we're not going to have a chance to playoffs, I don't think I'm going to play at all," he said at the time. "And I still like to play."
He'll get the chance to do exactly that in the Sunshine State.
Jagr, who has 29 points this season, has previously played for the Devils, Bruins, Caps, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and, of course, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
and you thought #LlamaDrama was a big deal...— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) February 26, 2015