April 2, 2013

Bruins acquire future Hall of Famer Jagr from Stars

By Jesse Connolly

Jaromir Jagr was Dallas' leading scorer prior to being traded to Boston. (Getty Images)

Burned last week by the Flames in a deal for Jarome Iginla that went from “in the bag” to “down the tubes,” many suspected there wasn’t a player that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli could reel in prior to the NHL trade deadline that’d measure up to the Calgary captain they came oh-so-close to acquiring.

As it turns out, Iginla wasn’t the only future Hall of Famer whose first name starts with “Jarom” that was on Boston’s radar.

According to numerous reports, Chiarelli struck a deal with the Dallas Stars for Jaromir Jagr, the 8th greatest point-getter in the history of the National Hockey League, on Tuesday. In exchange, the B’s will send prospects Cody Payne and Lane MacDermid, as well as a conditional second-round pick, to Texas.

Payne, 19, was selected 145th overall last summer. He’s coming off a 24-goal season in the OHL for the Plymouth Whalers. MacDermid (Hartford, Conn.), 24, has been part of the organization since 2009, spending three-plus years in Providence before serving as the 13th forward in Boston this season.

Jagr, 41, returned to the NHL with the Flyers last season after three years in the KHL, registering 19-35-54 totals in 73 games. Last summer, he signed a one-year deal with the Stars. Through 34 games, he led Dallas with 144 goals and 26 points, playing on the right side on the team’s top line alongside center Jamie Benn.

A native of Kladno, Czech Republic, Jagr has played on the international stage on multiple occasions with David Krejci, Boston’s first-line pivot. There’s a good chance the two wind up playing together at even strength, and an even greater one they’re united on the Bruins’ top power-play unit.

A 600-goal scorer and now a 1,000-assist man, Jagr has 1,679 points in 1,380 games since breaking into the NHL in 1990 with Pittsburgh, where he won two Stanley Cups and was arguably the most exciting player in hockey for more than a decade -- a stretch that included five Art Ross trophies as the league's leading scorer.

The Stars dropped their second game in a row on Monday night, keeping them three points out of a playoff spot with 13 games left on their schedule. Boston began Tuesday in fourth place in the East with 48 points, three back of division-leading Montreal with a game in hand.

The Bruins are reportedly still in pursuit of a defenseman to bolster their blue line. Jagr will likely make his debut for the Black and Gold Thursday night when the Devils come to TD Garden.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com