Breaking: Another door closes for Jagr

Running out of options quickly, is it finally all over for the future Hall of Famer?

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The Czech national team officially released their Olympic roster this morning and, surprise, surprise, legendary Czech superstar Jaromir Jagr was not included.

When it was reported earlier this month that Jagr and the Calgary Flames were working on arrangement to either trade or terminate his contract, many fans and analysts suspected that future Hall of Famer was reconsidering his stance on playing for the Olympics. Jagr unofficially retired from international play after the 2015 World Championships in Prague, saying at the time that he wants to dedicate himself to playing in the NHL. With that door closing however, many wondered if Jagr would change his stance on international play. Not so, apparently.

With the Olympic option officially shut down and NHL options dwindling… is this finally it for the 45-year-old former superstar? TSN reporter and NHL insider Bob McKenzie indicates that Flames GM Brad Treliving is trying to find a fit for Jagr elsewhere in the NHL, but that nothing appears imminent. GMs are in a holding pattern of sort, waiting to see which domino will fall first on the NHL trade market. Jagr’s age, health and salary structure also doesn’t lend himself to an easy trade scenario.

Could this be it? What’s his next option? KHL? Czech league? Retirement? It’s been a long and winding road for Jaromir Jagr, what happens next though is anyone’s guess.

For the full Czech roster, check out the image below:

In other Jagr news, the Flames officially moved the big winger to the IR with a lower body injury.

Report: New trade rumblings out of Ottawa

Moving east from Calgary, it’s no secret that things haven’t gone according to plan for the Ottawa Senators this season. Just a goal away from playing for the Stanley Cup Final last season, the Sens have plummeted to the bottom of the NHL’s standings with a 15-18-9 record in 2017-18. Ouch. So much for being a Cup contender…

The November addition of star forward Matt Duchene was meant to bolster the team’s offence, but Duchene has been mediocre with just six goals and 12 points in 28 games with his new team. Meanwhile, the player they traded as part of a package to acquire Duchene, center Kyle Turris, is ripping it up with the Nashville Predators. The former Sen has 19 points in 27 games with his new club. Double ouch.

With so much expectation and so much disappointment surrounding the Sens this season, it’s no surprise that GM Pierre Dorion finds himself on the hot seat. Fans and analysts are clamoring for the team to make a move… ANY move to help this team moving forward.

Sportsnet senior colmnist Chris Johnston reported over the weekend that Dorion has been receiving a lot of calls on forwards Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. But, earlier in the week The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek throws a new name into trade fires: Bobby Ryan.

Ryan is an immensely talented player, but his five goals and 17 points in 32 games for a whopping $7.25 million annually is an anchor on the team’s salary structure. It’s no secret that captain Erik Karlsson is in line for a HUGE raise in the summer of 2019, but with Ryan and fellow big ticket player Dion Phaneuf eating up close to $15 million annually, can the Sens afford to meet Karlsson’s demands? According to Duhatschek, the team shouldn’t wait to find out. 

One easy way to alleviate themselves of any complications with Karlsson’s upcoming negotiations is to trade Ryan before it’s too late. Duhatschek points to the Vegas Golden Knights, who were believed to be interest in Ryan when GM George McPhee was constructing his team’s roster, but the Sens’ disinterest in “sweetening the pot” nixed any potential arrangement. 

If Neal and/or Perron eventually move on, that would create some cap flexibility in Vegas and also the need for another top-six scorer. 

With the Sens now feeling the heat, will Dorion pick up the phone and revisit these conversations with McPhee? If the Sens retain some salary, Ryan could be a bargain for a team like Vegas.

Is Ryan, at $3.625 million – again, for additional four years – worth rolling the dice on?

It’s an interesting proposition, but one base almost purely on hypotheticals. Vegas is one landing spot sure, but how about a spot like New Jersey? The New Jersey Devils are one of the most surprising teams in the NHL this season. The Devils are armed with over $8 million in cap space and have a perfect for Ryan on the wing alongside Nico Hischier and Taylor Hall. Could that be a destination?

Or, how about the Los Angeles Kings? After a bit of a re-haul this past offseason, the Kings are back on top again and look to be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders once again… and that’s without the help of Jeff Carter for nearly the entire season. An injection of skill with Ryan in the team’s top-six could definitely go a long way towards cementing a long playoff run.

Regardless of what happens with Ryan and the Senators between now and the trade deadline, it’s clear that changes will be made in Ottawa. Dorion is being patient and surveying the market in an effort to ensure that he receives maximum return for all his assets. But, with each passing day just keep in mind that the Sens are getting closer and closer to a potential Erik Karlsson exit… and absolutely devastating scenario for the club. Something’s got to give.