Blues have discussed signing Jagr

ST. LOUIS -- Could the Blues turn to a NHL legend to fill in the void left by the season-ending knee injury to Robby Fabbri? It's not out of the realm of possibility.

The Blues have discussed the possibility of signing 45-year-old free agent forward Jaromir Jagr, the second-leading scorer in NHL history, general manager Doug Armstrong said Thursday.

"He's a great player, certainly someone we've talked internally about, as [we have] a number of players," Armstrong said. "We're going to have to really dig deep into how our style of play is and what type of players can come in and complement that style."

The Blues announced Wednesday that Fabbri will miss the entire 2017-18 season after reinjuring his left knee stemming from an ACL tear and forward Zach Sanford will be out 5-6 months after shoulder surgery. They are also without forwards Patrik Berglund (shoulder) and Alexander Steen (hand). Berglund is not expected to play until December; Steen will not be ready for the season opener at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 4.

"Losing Robby, losing Berglund for the first part of the year, it's something we're going to have to deal with and overcome," Armstrong said.

Jagr will play for HC Kladno, a second-tier club in the Czech Republic, this weekend, the Edmonton Journal reported Wednesday. He owns the club.

Jagr has 1,914 points (765 goals, 1,149 assists) in the NHL but became a free agent when the Florida Panthers opted not to re-sign him. He had 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) in 82 games last season after finishing with 66 points (27 goals, 39 assists) in 2015-16.

Jagr became a topic of discussion for the Blues once the injuries started to pile up. The Blues are also without defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (ankle). Bouwmeester and Steen are expected to be out through the first week of the regular season.

"All I can tell you is that he played real well against us last year," Blues coach Mike Yeo said of Jagr. "That’s something that I would have to watch a little bit more tape on. But I mean, consistently he’s put up points.

"It’s up to us as a staff to make sure that we share our opinions with Doug and then obviously Doug will talk to everybody else on his staff. But for me personally, Jaromir is a great player. I’m concentrating on our group right now. I will offer my input in any way that I can to Doug to help give him the best chance to do his job, but my job is to make sure that we concentrate on our group."

One player who knows Jagr on a firsthand basis is Blues center Brayden Schenn, who was a teammate with Jagr with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011-12 when Jagr returned to the NHL after a three-year stint Omsk Avangard of the KHL.

"Everyone all knows what Jagr can do," Schenn said. "Whether they sign him or not, obviously he's a valuable piece to any team, a great leader in the locker room, true pro, does everything possible to get himself ready to play and obviously second in points in history of the NHL. Not much more I need to say there obviously. If that happens or not, we'll see.

"Slowing down or not, he's always kind of played that puck-possession game and he's big and strong and tough to move off the puck. Forty-five years old and he threw out 46 points last year, not many guys can do that and it's impressive what he's doing. This is news to me whether we sign him or not."

Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said the Blues would keep all options open pertaining to Jagr.

"If they ask me, I would give that my opinion, but ultimately, that's Mike, Marty [Brodeur] and Doug, those are the guys that will make that decision if they think that we need it, but I'll worry about the guys that are in here right now," Pietrangelo said. "If they bring someone in, we'll welcome them with open arms, but for now, it's the guys we'll worry about in this room.

"[Jagr's] got a great track record. He's obviously done a lot of things over the years."
 

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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