New York Hockey: Jaromir Jagr

Elias to return vs. Canucks

October, 24, 2013
Patrik Elias is slated to return Thursday for the Devils as they face the Vancouver Canucks. The veteran forward missed the past two games with the flu.

Elias is slated to rejoin fellow Czech legend Jaromir Jagr on the team's first line, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Devils captain Bryce Salvador remains on bereavement leave because of a death in the family.

Cory Schneider, who appears to have won the starting goaltender job, will be between the pipes when they host the Canucks.

The new Metropolitan Division

July, 31, 2013
ESPN Insider Craig Custance wrote a great piece breaking down the brand-new Metropolitan Division, home to the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Custance argues that the Rangers are trending up, saying that Henrik Lundqvist is the best goalie in the division, better than reigning Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky, and the top four of Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto and Marc Staal stacks up with any defense in the East.

Custance says the Islanders have good, young talent but expects "a small step back may be coming after last season's big step forward." My big question about the Isles is, can John Tavares keep up his production after a breakthrough season? If so, this will be a fun team to watch.

After losing Ilya Kovalchuk, David Clarkson and Henrik Tallinder and adding Cory Schneider, Ryane Clowe, Michael Ryder and Jaromir Jagr, the Devils are a hard team to predict. Custance thinks Schneider will have a big impact in the crease and the team will be able to hold steady.

Read the full piece here (Insider).

Paul Grant has expressed his displeasure over the new Metropolitan Division. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

Jagr to Devils: It can't hurt

July, 22, 2013
Jaromir JagrEric Hartline/USA TODAY SportsJaromir Jagr won't make up for the stunning departure of Ilya Kovalchuk, but he can help.
Don’t expect Jaromir Jagr to score 35-40 goals next season.

After all, the 41-year-old winger hasn’t produced 30 goals in a season since 2006-07.

But if he lives up to reasonable expectations, Jagr, who agreed to terms with the New Jersey Devils on a one-year contract Monday, should be able to light the lamp somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 times.

And while that production wouldn’t entirely make up for the stunning departure of Ilya Kovalchuk, it would help.

Jagr had a very productive regular season in 2012-13, with 16 goals and 19 assists in 45 games between Dallas and Boston. He did not find the back of the net in 22 playoff games for the Bruins, but did notch 10 assists and had numerous scoring opportunities.

Jagr is no longer the elite player he once was, but he’s still strong on the puck and can help the Devils on the power play.

Here’s what New Jersey’s line combinations could look like next season:

Patrik Elias-Travis Zajac-Michael Ryder

Ryane Clowe-Adam Henrique-Jaromir Jagr

Rostislav Olesz-Andrei Loktionov-Dainius Zubrus

Ryan Carter-Stephen Gionta-Steve Bernier

Again, Jagr can’t and shouldn’t be relied upon to make up for the loss of Kovalchuk by his lonesome.

Elias, 37, fresh off signing a three-year contract to remain a Devil, needs to be as consistent as he was last season, when he recorded 36 points and was a plus-five.

Zajac, 28, needs to bounce back after having a down year in which he scored just seven goals and was a minus-five. New Jersey rewarded Zajac with an eight-year, $46 million deal last offseason, and so far, though it’s still early, he hasn’t lived up to it.

Clowe, 30, and Ryder, 33, need to produce after landing multiyear deals from the Devils in free agency. Clowe had just three goals last season and has a concussion history, while Ryder had a very strong 2012-13 -- netting 16 goals and collecting 35 points -- and needs to carry that over to 2013-14.

Henrique, 23, had a sophomore slump last season after vaulting New Jersey to the Stanley Cup Finals with his overtime-winner against the Rangers as a rookie in 2012. He has a ton of skill and needs to live up to his potential next season.

If the likes of Elias, Zajac, Clowe, Ryder and Henrique actually step up and elevate their games, they’ll be able to soften the blow caused by Kovalchuk’s departure.

It will be interesting to see how GM Lou Lamoriello proceeds from here.

Will he stand pat or make another addition or two to the forward group?

ESPNNewYork's 25 Greatest Rangers

March, 5, 2013
AM ET Illustration
Deciding the 25 greatest New York Rangers was tough, but rose to the challenge. From Frank Boucher to Henrik Lundqvist, the Garden has hosted some memorable Blueshirts -- so who’s the best?   The List Photo Gallery   Rank 'Em »