It was bound to happen sooner or later. Jaromir Jagr has come down from his status as an elite fantasy stud to just a regular star.
(Originally posted in The Hockey News February 8)
We thought it happened when he left Pittsburgh, but as it turned out it was just a lack of motivation. Once he was traded to the Rangers and they put him in a comfortable environment with many of his Czech countrymen, Jagr flourished once more.
But here he is, still in the same environment – and in a contract year, no less – and he has slowed down, this time for good. At 35, it is clear 100-point seasons are behind him. While 75- or 80-point seasons are nothing to sneeze at, there are 40 other players in this league that can do that. No. 68 is no longer special.
If I was a betting man – and I guess in a way I am, given my love of fantasy hockey – I would have wagered the house Jagr would have tallied at least 84 points this season. After all, that is the threshold he needs to cross in order to extend his contract with the Rangers. He needs 37 points in his last 28 games to get there. Jaromir Jagr of 1998 could do it. Jaromir Jagr of 2008…not so much.
It looked as if things were turning around when, from Dec. 18 to Jan. 22, he had 24 points in 18 contests. However, he has one point in six games since and seems destined to fall short of a point-per-game for the first time since 2004.
Back in his glory days, Jagr was the one player who could put up the points of two players – yet take up just one roster spot. That’s priceless in fantasy leagues. Nobody will do that this season, although there are several players who could begin doing that as early as 2008-09 (you know who they are).
He’ll shake this funk. The problem is, funks are a lot more frequent for him these days…
Edmonton’s Shawn Horcoff is out for the season. He had missed three games as of Thursday and Sam Gagner had four points in those three games. So far, that indicates to me Gagner’s production will see a significant boost over the final 25 contests…
David Vyborny’s production dropped significantly last season once Ken Hitchcock took the reins. His 26-point pace for this season, injuries aside, confirmed he is not a Hitchcock favorite. Unless he is somewhere else next year, it’s time to bail on this normally 60-plus-point player…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: Boston winger Glen Murray will likely return from his hip injury Friday. Since the line of Milan Lucic, Chuck Kobasew and Glen Metropolit is playing so well together, Murray will likely be on a line with Marco Sturm