Jaromir Jagr’s Flames debut will have to wait another day
Calgary Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said on Friday that it will be entirely up to Jaromir Jagr to decide when he is ready to make his debut for the team.
It seems he is not quite ready as Gulutzan confirmed on Saturday morning that Jagr will not be in the lineup when the team plays its home opener against the Winnipeg Jets.
Gulutzan announced on Saturday morning that Jagr will not play on Saturday night and that Curtis Lazar will join the lineup, playing alongside Sam Bennett and Kris Versteeg.
Jagr, who turns 46 later this season, remained unsigned as a free agent until the week before the start of the regular season until finally signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Flames.
Jagr played in all 82 games for the Panthers last season, finishing with 16 goals and 30 assists. While his production was still good enough for a top-six player in the NHL he did show some signs significantly slowing down and wasn’t always as dominant as he was even in recent seasons. But he can still work on the power play and he can still be impossible to get the puck away from. It probably would serve him -- and the Flames -- well to pace him a bit this season, limiting his regular season minutes and perhaps even giving him some strategic nights off to save him for the playoffs. Whether or not Jagr would be open to that is another question entirely.
The Flames lost their season opener on Thursday night, 3-0, to the Edmonton Oilers. The Jets are looking to rebound following a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.