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Jaromir Jagr re-signs with Devils

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:39 PM / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Jaromir Jagr re-signs with Devils
The New Jersey Devils on Wednesday re-signed right wing Jaromir Jagr to a new contract. Terms of the deal were not released by the team.

Right wing Jaromir Jagr, who led the New Jersey Devils in scoring this season, was re-signed to a one-year contract Wednesday.

"I think [Devils general manager] Lou Lamoriello wanted to know what kind of direction he wanted to go, so both sides wanted to do [the contract] quickly," Jagr said on a conference call. "I didn't mind that at all. I was happy here and had no reason to change. If I'm happy somewhere and feel like the other side is interested, there's no reason to change."

The announcement came on the same day Jagr was named one of three finalists for the 2014 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, an annual award given to the NHL player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

The Devils named the 42-year-old right wing the team's most valuable player after he led the club in assists (43), points (67), plus-minus (plus-16), game-winning goals (six) and shots (231). He ranked second on the team with 24 goals.

Jagr said he enjoyed having Peter DeBoer as his coach and is looking forward to an even better season in 2014-15.

"I felt like we didn't have really great superstars or goal scorers, but I think the system we play gives us a chance to compete against anybody and beat anybody," Jagr said. "If you follow the system, you don't have to be great to be able to have success or hope that the team you play against will have to have a bad night in order to win. If we really work hard and follow the system we have a chance, and maybe it's just my feeling, but that system gave me confidence that we can go out there and win the games."

Jagr, who will enter his second season with the Devils in 2014-15, ranks 20th all-time in games played (1,473), seventh in goals (705), eighth in assists (1,050) and is tied for sixth with Steve Yzerman in points (1,755). He is the NHL's all-time leader with 124 game-winning goals, including 18 overtime goals in 20 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins and Devils.

A member of the Penguins' 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup championship teams, he has 78 goals, 121 assists and 199 points in 202 career games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Jagr is confident the Devils will be a contender next season. New Jersey failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season in 2013-14.

"We made a lot of mistakes during the season and I felt like we were able to play against the good teams, but lost a lot of points against teams that didn't make the playoffs," he said. "If you're a good enough team, you should grab those points, otherwise it's tough to get them later on in the season. We got in this situation where we had to win almost every game [down the stretch] to get into the playoffs, and it's tough. There's too much pressure and we have to learn from that."

Jagr was a pleasant surprise for the Devils after signing a one-year, $2 million contract last July. He was looked upon to fill the void created when Ilya Kovalchuk decided to return to play in his native Russia during the offseason. Despite playing in 105 games in 2012-13 while splitting time between Europe and the NHL with the Stars and Bruins, Jagr remained an offensive force.

"You don't play into your 40s unless you're really working at it, working at your body, working at your conditioning, taking care of yourself," DeBoer said during the season. "And you have to love the game. It's a grind. People don't realize how tough an NHL season is, night in and night out. You have to have a real passion and love for the game to keep doing that at this high of a level.

"He's a very intelligent guy. He's got a high IQ, and if he can help us score a few more goals by sharing some of that knowledge with our guys, I'm more than open to that."

Jagr's play rejuvenated Travis Zajac, who usually centered the top line with him. In 80 games Zajac has 18 goals and 48 points, his highest total in four seasons. He had 25 goals and 67 points in 82 games during the 2009-10 season.

"I know I play the best hockey when I'm happy, and we had a good group of guys," Jagr said. "I was getting ice time and I like to play a lot. I don't get tired much, so I really enjoy that. It was a loose atmosphere; we work hard, but there's not one bad guy on our team.

"Maybe we need one or two [bad guys] to make the playoffs."

Mike Morreale

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51