There's no arguing your first point. Jagr is a superstar and has probably 3-4 good years left. But if he is still producing, that's our top line. Guys like Prucha, Immonen and Dawes should be part of the mix. One guy already shows he has the finishing ability and fiestiness of a Fleury without the idiocy.
Jessiman's development depends on how patient they are. They were willing to send him down to Charlotte. It obviously worked. I wouldn't expect him to be a Ranger for a couple of years. He'll need a full season probably at Hartford next year.
Regarding Al, I don't want to trade him now. It's too early for that. He's 20 and Lundqvist just turned 24 and is still in year 1. Even if he is the real deal, they need to see what Montoya can do. Maybe he makes the team next year and gets into some games. That's the only way to increase his value. You saw it with Ahonen. This guy was highly rated. But he never even started. And Albany was so putrid that he lost some confidence. Now they'd be lucky to get a 6th round pick for him.
It's true that I wasn't in favor of picking Al because I had this feeling that Lundqvist would sign and be good. But still, there was the whole Blackburn situation which contributed to their choice. They wanted insurance. If that wasn't the situation, Olesz might have been the pick.
I'm not spinning anything Liz. Just pointing out that the Devils sat back and it nearly cost them as the two posts would point out.
Sometimes, it just isn't your night.
Agreed about the rivalry. There's a lot more intensity in these posts. What happens if the teams square off?
Jagr has been through a lot and I think 3 or 4 good years left is an overstatement. It always seems like the guy is playing hurt or is sidelined with a nagging injury. I expect next year to be his last like this year, then a decline will begin. I still think he has lost a step from his Pittsburgh days but he is still a heck of a player.
Ahonen wasn't highly rated. He was a reach pick, but whenever Lou and Conte reach, everyone figures it must be for a good reason. There was no reason to get him into any games and while it's possible the Devils stunted his development, that's a product of the market for goaltenders being crappy. The guy is unlikely to be an NHL goaltender. I'm sure he will do well in Europe.
Insurance for Blackburn was a thought but when you have a goaltender dominating in Frolunda it seems foolish to take another one. The organization was completely in disarray when they took Montoya - to me they did it for PR reasons as well as hockey reasons. Big mistake. They will end up paying for it.