Well the oldest player in the NHL still refuses to hang the skates, and for the Florida Panthers, they couldn’t be happier.
Jaromir Jagr has just signed a one year deal with Florida for $4M, along with a $1.5M bonus depending on how many games he plays next season. So the old man has a shot at $5.5M.
Is he worth that money? Isn’t he too old to be given such a large amount of money?
Yes, and honestly, this is steal for Dale Tallon, GM for the Panthers. But why?
To start, this is a one year deal, the man is going to be 45, first only to Patrik Elias (39), and for someone as good as Jagr, that works wonders for the future of the franchise. Typically and older player wants a severance package before leaving the NHL, asking for ludicrous contracts spanning multiple years even if it brings them to their late 30’s. Look at contracts of those like Zdeno Chara, Dave Bolland, Chris Pronger, and my favorite, “The Bottle Police” David Clarkson. Jagr’s contract allows for him to play another year and contemplate whether or not to retire, all while not ruining the future salary cap for Florida. $4M is the base salary, a good investment due to the large cap space. The extra $1.5M is to ensure you get a lot out of him.
This is a perfect situation for Florida.
While Jagr helps the Panthers try to make the playoffs again next year, fans and management won’t have to worry about his contract, unless he still wants to play next year, but that’s hardly an issue. Eventually when he does retire, the young guns like Barkov, Ekblad, Heuberdeau, Trocheck, etc., will be able to have their big contracts without a cancerous, unwanted contract to derail them.
And not to scare you Panthers fans, but if for whatever reason the Panthers can’t seem to play well enough to get in the playoffs by the deadline, his contract is one that won’t be hard to move. Surely a playoff team will want a cheap, low duration, skilled vet like Jagr.
But don’t worry, you should be fine.
So the 44 year old legend skates again, and by the looks of it, he still has that flair, finesse, skill, power, and leadership like he did 23 seasons ago.