First, excuse me; my inaugural article on BVTSB centered on Jaromir Jagr, and this, my second article, will also focus on him. Now pull your panties up and get over it; I don’t create the news -unlike some ‘professional’ agencies- I just write about it.
Twelfth (12th), Thirteenth (13th) and Ninth (9th), that’s where Jagr ranks in the all-time NHL record book for goals, assists, and points. From a pure talent-based perspective, those standings are misleading; they should be a good bit higher.
You see, only four of the eleven snipers with more career goals than Jagr are also NOT in the top 25 for games played (Goal scoring list: Brett Hull – 3rd all time, Marcel Dionne – 4th all time, Phil Esposito – 5th all time, and Mario Lemieux – 9th all time). Those are some pretty impressive names to be associated with.
So, why should Jagr, a bonafide contemporary superstar, be considered one of the game’s best players, to have EVER laced up? Simple. Just crunch the numbers.
Unlike anyone else on the all-time lists, Jagr took a three year (~245 regular season games) hiatus during some very productive seasons. The last season before his departure, 2007-2008, saw him play all 82 regular season games, while posting 25 goals and 46 assists for 71 total points (0.866 points-per-game).
During the past three seasons Jagr spent in the Russian Super League KHL (2007-2011), he played in 155 regular season games, netting 66 goals (0.426 goals-per-game) and 69 assists (0.445 assists-per-game), with a total of 0.871 points-per-game. Impressive.
Through the first month of this early season, Jagr has remained impressive, netting 5 goals and 8 assists in 13 games; he is on pace for 31 goals and 50 assists, exactly 1.00 points-per-game. One can hardly say he is playing like a player in the twilight of his career.
Assuming, for the sake of argument, Jagr had played in 63 / 82 NHL games per season during each of the past three seasons he played in the KHL (63 being tied with the lowest games per season he has ever played in his NHL career, save for lockout in 1994).
That would have been another 189 NHL games under his belt; enough to launch him into 20th all time for games played, and, had he merely tied his seasonal career lows in goals-per-game (rookie campaign with 27 / 80 or 0.338) and assists-per-game (also rookie campaign, with 30 / 80 or 0.375), he would have amassed another 63 goals and 70 assists, for an additional 133 points.
Based on said conservative figures, Jagr would be #6 all time in goals (displacing the likes of Mark Messier, Mike Gartner, Luc Robitaille, Steve Yzerman, and Mario Lemieux), #11 all time in assists (eclipsing Dougie Gilmour and Joe Sakic), and #7 all time in points (surpassing Mario Lemieux and Joe Sakic).
Assuming Jagr plays a similar tied-for-career-low in games this season, and also ties career lows on goals and assists per game, he will have another 21 goals and 23 assists, for 44 more points. Good enough to theoretically place him:
#5 all time in goals (displacing Phil Esposito and putting him one shy of tying #4 Marcel Dionne), #9 all time in assists (displacing Mario Lemiuex, Marcel Dionne, and placing him 3 A’s back of the legendary Gordie Howe), and #5 all time in points (displacing Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux).
Rarified air, indeed.
Stay tuned for the next installment to Czech out another puck legend.