With the Flyers recent scoring woes, head coach Dave Hakstol has been tinkering with the lines, looking for a spark. Wayne Simmonds and Nick Cousins have been trying their hardest to get the Flyers out of their scoring funk. There is one move that could help the Flyers without sacrificing any of their young prospects, before the trading deadline on March 1 at 3pm. This player could jump start them into the playoffs.
The Florida Panthers may not have the defensive legs to become a playoff team. One player that could be on the move is Jaromir Jagr and the Panthers are looking for a young defenseman that has NHL experience. Michael Del Zotto is one defenseman that may fit the Panthers needs. Let’s examine this further to see if the deal makes sense for both teams.
Jaromir Jagr was born on February 15, 1972 in Kladno, Czechoslovakia. Jagr was drafted 5th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990 NHL Draft.
Jagr aided the Penguins to consecutive cups in 1990-91, and 1991-92 seasons. He immediately became a fan favorite with saluting after he scored a goal.
After a brief stint in the KHL while playing for the Avangard Omsk, Jagr decided to return to the NHL for the 2011-12 season. The Flyers took a risk by signing him to a one year deal.
He had an amazing return to the NHL by registering 19 goals, and 35 assists for a total of 54 points in 73 games played. Jagr played on a line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. Ironically enough, it was Giroux’s best season amassing 28 goals, and 65 assists for a total of 93 points.
Jagr instantly became a fan favorite in Philadelphia. His work ethic for being the first one on the ice, and the last one off it was well known to the fans. He was also given keys to the Flyers practice facility.
The former Omsk product, had this to say about the fans of Philadelphia, “The fans love the sport here. They understand the game, and appreciate somebody working hard. It was only one year here, but I have a lot of good memories here.”
At age 45, Jagr is the leading point scorer among active NHL players with 1,901, and has the second most points in NHL history. He has won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL scoring champion four times, and has won the Hart Memorial Trophy as league’s MVP once.
On the current season he has registered 11 goals, and 22 assists for a total of 33 points in 56 games played.
Jagr’s brief stint with the Flyers showed he had great chemistry with Giroux and Voracek. At age 45, he still has the goods to be a dominant force in the NHL. With the addition of Jagr it should jump start the Flyers into the post season, without sacrificing any young prospect.
Michael Del Zotto
Originally drafted by the New York Rangers in 2008, MDZ quickly emerged as a puck moving defenseman in the 2009-2010 hockey season. He made his NHL debut on October 2, 2009, and amassed 9 goals, 28 assists, totalling 37 points that year. He was traded to the Nashville Predators on January 22, 2014.
The Flyers signed him on August 5, 2014 to a friendly cap deal of $1.3 million. He played well in his first full season with the Flyers registering 10 goals, 22 assists, for a total of 32 points. This granted him a 2-year, $7.75 million dollar deal on July 5, 2015.
Last year he tallied 4 goals, and 9 assists for a total of 13 points in only 52 games played. He had his season cut short due to a wrist injury, but he did play well under Dave Hakstol. Del Zotto was relied upon as a consistent two way defenseman.
This year he had a knee injury to start the season, but has come back strong with 4 goals, and 6 assists for a total of 10 points in 31 games played. Due to the log jam of defenseman, he found himself benched one game this season. He is in the last year of his contract, and this makes him an ideal candidate to be dealt to the Panthers.
The trade of Del Zotto for Jagr makes perfect sense for both teams. Jagr is still undecided if he is going to play another year. It makes sense for the Panthers to get something in return for him. Del Zotto is 26 years old, and in the prime of his career. He is a gifted two way defenseman that would pair well with stud defenseman Aaron Ekblad. The Flyers could bolster their top line with Jagr, possibly putting them into the post season. So Flyers fans would you like to see this deal happen?
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Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports