Buffalo Sabres: Is it worth bringing Jaromir Jagr in?

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 08: Jaromir Jagr
SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 08: Jaromir Jagr /

A lot of people may just see a 45-year old player past his prime, but signing Jaromir Jagr would still be extremely beneficial for the Buffalo Sabres.

To say last season was a disappointment for the Buffalo Sabres and their fans, would be a major understatement. Hopes were high after an encouraging 2015-16 campaign, but it all went wrong, as the Sabres missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year.

While injuries were a big factor, one of the other major issues was a lack of discipline. Dan Bylsma seemed to lose control of the team, with one example being a lack of trust in his system from the younger players, including Jack Eichel.

If you haven’t got your young superstar and face of the franchise on your side, it’s going to be a problem. As such, it came as no surprise when Bylsma was fired at the end of the campaign, after just two seasons in charge.

With former Sabres’ player and Hall of Famer Phil Housley now installed as head coach, there is expected to be more discipline and trust. However, you can never have too many respected people around, especially as you look to turn around your fortunes.

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In that respect, the Sabres should give serious though to bringing in Jaromir Jagr. Even signing the future Hall of Famer for one season, could be just the tonic to help everyone involved in the organization.

A lot of people may well question the wisdom of such a move. After all, Jagr’s best days are behind him and teams aren’t exactly knocking down the door to sign the free agent.

In addition, the cynics among us will argue the 45-year old is just looking to hang on, in an attempt to reach 2,000 career points, before finally hanging up his cleats. (To be fair though, even if that is the case, can you really blame him?)

However, the main reason for signing Jagr, would be to bring some class to the Sabres’ franchise. Are you really telling me the younger players — and yes, we’re including Eichel — couldn’t learn something from him?

The 13-time All-Star selection is one of the most classy and respected people in hockey — in this or any era of the game. He could provide invaluable lessons to Eichel and company, in terms of how to conduct yourself at all times, both on and off the ice. (There were issues about his temperament in the past, but this reputation dates back to more than 10 years ago.)

In addition, it’s not as if Jagr isn’t still producing at the top level, thanks in large part to his strength and incredible instincts. Last season he averaged 17 minutes of action, while playing in all 82 games.

In addition, the two-time Stanley Cup champion managed 46 points, which included 16 goals and 30 assists. For perspective, consider that this total would have put him fourth on the Sabres’ scoring list.

Now, it is fair to note there would be some concerns about bringing Jagr in. He’s not a great defender and his speed is no longer what it used to be, but the positives far outweigh any negatives.

Overall, it’s probably a long-shot for the Sabres to even consider the five-time Art Ross Trophy winner, never mind actually sign him. Which is a shame, because he is exactly what they need for the short-term future.

Next: Reviewing every pick in the Sabres' 2017 draft

What’s your position on potentially signing Jagr? Would you bring him in or not? What are the pros and cons of him playing a season (or two) in Buffalo? Share your thoughts in the comments section.