The Devils are expected to announce today that they’ve signed 41-year-old right wing Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract, at least partially filling the void left by the departure of Ilya Kovalchuk [to the KHL] and David Clarkson [signed by Toronto].
Jagr was considered one of the best remaining free agents in a market that dried up rather quickly and will make a pair of visits to VerizonCenter, on Dec 21 and Feb. 8.
Does Jagr still have anything left in those 41-year-old wheels?
He managed 16 goals and 19 assists in 45 games for the Stars and Bruins last season, averaging 18:20 of ice time. He added 10 assists for the Bruins in the playoffs, playing all 22 games.
While Jagr has had an incredible career -- 681 goals and 1,688 points in 1,391 regular-season games with six different clubs – he would not have been a good fit with the Caps, where he failed to live up to expectations his first time around from 2001-04.
Jagr plays exclusively on the right side and now that Alex Ovechkin has been moved from left to right, the Caps are overloaded on that side with a depth chart of Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward, Jay Beagle and Tom Wilson.
The Caps are significantly weaker on the left side with Marcus Johansson, Martin Erat, Eric Fehr, Jason Chimera and Aaron Volpatti rounding out that depth chart. Brooks Laich is being slotted as the Capitals’ second-line center, but could be moved to the left side if the Caps elected to make a move for a centerman.
Of those remaining on the free agent market, center Mikhail Grabovski remains the most intriguing. At 29, he skates well, is an excellent playmaker, and has put up 20 or more goals three times in his five-year NHL career. Apparently, there are three teams interested in signing him.
His best year came in 2010-11, when he had 29 goals and 58 points.
Caps general manager George McPhee said the players on the free agent market did not interest him this summer and that he would like to see his team in training camp before making any roster decisions.