Every summer, you'll hear endless rumors about how teams are considering going after a big name free agent and most of them aren't worth paying attention to because they don't have much substance. This is especially true for rumors involving the Hurricanes this year with the team being tight on cap space and the free agent class being being thin. Despite that, Carolina's name has been involved in plenty of rumors and one player who they are supposedly trying to sign is future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr.
Since the first day of free agency, it's been mentioned that the Hurricanes have been talking to a "big free agent" forward and are considering bringing him in on a one year deal. With the free agent class being as thin as it is, there are only a couple of "big names" available and Jagr is definitely one of them. The signing of Alexander Semin last year showed that Jim Rutherford isn't afraid to make a big signing to improve the team, so it's likely that Jagr is this "big" free agent that the Canes have been eye-balling over the last few days.
However, if the Hurricanes want to land someone of Jagr's caliber, then it probably means that they will have to clean some cap space in order to make it happen. I mentioned in my overview of the Hurricanes cap situation that the team had room to make at least one minor move, but bringing in someone on a non-bargain deal would involve trading or cutting ties with one of their own players to make room for him. Jagr made $3.3 mil and $4.55 mil. in his last two deals respectively, so his price range will probably stay in that area. If he does end up costing that much, then it could mean that the Canes will have to make more than one move to clear space for him.
This is where bringing Jagr in becomes dicey. There is no doubt that Jagr can still play and he would be a huge boost to the Canes top-nine forwards. The problem is that the Hurricanes would be risking part of their future & subtracting a part from their team just for one year of Jagr's services. Jagr might be one of the best forwards to play in the NHL over the last two decades, but it's doubtful that what they would get from Jagr next year would be worth trading away possibly multiple assets just to acquire him, especially at his age.
That's a dilemma the Hurricanes will have to decide for themselves if they are indeed pursing Jagr, but one thing that keeps going through my mind is whether or not Jagr is even a fit with Carolina. They don't have a lot of room in their top-six right now, especially at right wing and have put more focus on rebuilding the team's defense this off-season. Is there any harm in signing Jagr? Absolutely not, but a player really needs to be a difference maker if you're considering moving assets just to acquire him. At 41, Jagr can still be a difference maker but it's still tough to project where he would be in the lineup.
Is there a place for Jagr in Carolina's system? We'll look at both sides of the situation after the jump.no comments