Would Jaromir Jagr consider taking a drastic pay cut to play for the Penguins? Not likely. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Thanks to some for the words of encouragement after my last mailbag. They’re much appreciated.
A couple kind people suggested the mailbag column should be expanded by a few questions every Tuesday and Friday; I’m not averse to the idea – schedule-permitting, of course – but I’ve got to warn you, I may have to lean on sarcasm (more than I do already) to get the job done.
Love your column. You are the King of Pithy!
What is your assessment of this next generation of elite goaltenders in the NHL? I'm referring to Roberto Luongo, Henrik Lundquist, Miikka Kiprusoff, Carey Price and a few others. In my opinion, this group is nowhere near the caliber of netminder that we witnessed in the mid-90s to early 2000s.
To me, that was the golden age of goaltending; during that span the likes of Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour, Dominik Hasek and Marty Brodeur were lights-out, championship-quality goalies, and frankly I'd even rate Curtis Joseph, Olaf Kolzig and Mike Richter (when they were in their primes) higher than today's “elite” goalies.
I'll concede that maybe their performances were augmented by a trapping league and/or larger equipment, but I never had a doubt those guys would be next to impossible to beat in a Game 7 in the playoffs. I don't get that sense from Luongo or Kipper or Ryan Miller. Am I way off?
Stuart Lynam, East York, Ont.
The King of Pithy, eh? I love it, in large part because even a devoted language enthusiast like me had to whip out my dictionary and discover what “pithy” meant. (Dictionary.com defines it as “brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression.”)
I completely understand your point in regards to different eras of goaltending. You touched on it briefly, but I do believe the mushrooming of goalie equipment, as well as the dreadful style of defensive play, contributed more than a little to the numbers and stature of Roy, Brodeur, etc.
That said, I’m not ready to pass judgment on the new breed of netminders just yet. Eventually, one of the newbies will come up with a dazzling post-season full of stolen wins and shutouts en route to a Stanley Cup victory – and once they do, they’ll ascend to the highest echelon there is for goalies. That there are doubts about their ability to do so is just the natural order of things.
Considering the gazillions of dollars he has made over his career, do you think there's a chance that Jaromir Jagr would go back to Pittsburgh at a deep discount just for a chance to play with Malkin & Crosby?
I know the Pens are already facing cap issues and will have a tough job bringing Marian Hossa back, but an extremely wealthy Jagr is completely within collective bargaining agreement rules to sign with any team for the minimum salary.
And if he did, for once we could finally believe a player when he says "I didn't do this for the money!" Hey, if Kevin Lowe can stay within the rules of the CBA and still piss of the other GM's, why can't Jagr do the same thing to the NHLPA?
Steve Dicker, Paradise, Nfld.
Jaromir Jagr? Accept the minimum salary? If he was being held at gunpoint, maybe.
There are a few reasons Jagr has talked openly this season about finishing his Hall-of-Fame career in Europe, and one of the main reasons concerns the amount of compensation he’d receive. This, from a guy who has made more money than any other player in NHL history ($98 million over the course of his career).
One day, there may be an NHL legend who will accept the minimum salary to hang on and try for one last championship. But it won’t be No. 68.
Do you have some news about what is going on in Toronto with the GM and/or coaching changes and potential trades/buyouts?
Thomas Lessard, Sherbrooke, Que.
Hell no, I do not. How’s that for pith, Stuart Lynam?
With the impending departure of Wade Redden, who will support the many charitable organizations he has supported for the past 11 years?
Redden has been a backbone of this community and involved in many charity events for children. I wouldn’t want to see his hard work pushed aside. It is true that Redden has struggled the past two years, however, I am a firm believer that his lifeline to the hockey world was his mother. With her death, came an inner struggle to find himself again and a purpose in life.
I certainly hope that with his upcoming marriage, Wade will "see the light." Hockey players are only human; along with that comes the trials and tribulations of every day life.
Jill Beattie-Hillier, Kanata, Ont.
With the vast amount of solid citizens in the Senators organization, I’m sure Roy Mlakar won’t have much of a problem filling the major hole Redden will leave in the Ottawa community.
I don’t want to delve into his personal life too deeply, but like any employer/employee relationship, Redden’s association with the Senators may simply have run its course. Sometimes you’ve got to switch things up to rejuvenate your mind and body, and that’s probably the case here.
But I’m sure Redden would be quite pleased to know that no matter where he goes next, his legacy in Ottawa won’t be completely compromised by the lack of a championship during his tenure there.
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