#4: Trading for Jaromir Jagr
Arriving via another trade, this time from New Jersey, ageless icon Jaromir Jagr was a key figure in Florida’s return to the playoffs during the 2015-16 season.
Like Vatrano, Jagr was another near-deadline trade for Tallon, and was also acquired for just picks. The Panthers traded their 2015 second-round pick and the Minnesota Wild’s 2015 third-round pick (acquired from trading Sean Bergenheim to Minnesota two days prior). The two selected players, Ryan Gropp and Rem Pitlick, never played a single NHL game for the Devils.
Jagr had an immediate impact on the 2014-15 season, playing alongside Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, who were young enough to be Jagr’s sons.
Jagr put up 18 points (6G & 12 A) across the final 20 games of the Panthers’ season. The Cats made a miniature playoff push that March, but wound up missing out on a wild-card spot by just seven points.
It was the next season where Jagr’s impacts were truly felt. At age 43, Jagr finished with 66 points (27G & 39A) in 79 games on the Panthers’ top line as the Cats won the Atlantic Division and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in four years.
During his time in South Florida, Jagr advanced to 2nd all time in the NHL in both goals and points. He achieved both of these accomplishments at home, scoring 2 goals against Winnipeg in 2015-16 to reach 2nd all-time in goals, while assisting a Barkov goal against Boston in 2016-17 to reach 2nd all-time in points. Fortunately for me, I was there to witness both.
Overall, Jagr was a complete fan favorite in Sunrise, Florida. A total oddball on the roster, considering most of the top-six forwards for the Panthers were barely born when Jaromir Jagr debuted in the NHL, but he was still a vital piece.
This trade was a huge payoff as a “low-risk, high-reward” trade for Tallon. Jagr’s trade ranks above the Vatrano deal due to Jagr’s importance in a franchise-best regular season.