Jaromir Jagr becomes big draw for Dallas Stars

Posted Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Wayne Gretzky is hockey in North America.

The specter of "The Great One" casts its shadow over every franchise of the NHL as only the game's best player can; his famous No. 99 is retired league-wide.

New Dallas Stars forward Jaromir Jagr possesses that same aura.

"I think, for a lot of the Europeans, he's their Wayne Gretzky," said Stars goalkeeper Kari Lehtonen of Finland. "You can imagine how Wayne is here, especially in Canada -- [Jagr's] that man there."

Jagr, a five-time Art Ross Trophy winner for the most points in the regular season, joined the Stars as a free agent in July and has immediately become the face of a franchise that has been searching for an identity.

Since the announcement of his arrival Jan. 11, fans have flocked to the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco to catch a glimpse of the two-time Stanley Cup-winning legend.

"We could tell Jags was on our team because we've never seen that many people," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "The coaches were doing their hair a little better when they got out there."

Gulutzan added that it wasn't just the fans who were star-struck by the newest Star.

"When you first saw him on the ice, I think all of our players were a little in awe and even the coaching staff, having a player of that caliber play for us," he said.

What Jagr brings to the Stars on the ice is 1,346 career NHL games and 1,653 points, which makes him eighth all-time in the NHL. His 6-foot-3, 240-pound frame still moves at a high speed, despite being a month shy of 41 years old, Gulutzan said.

"He's an unbelievably fit athlete and to see a big body like that and then to see the skill he possesses is a rare thing in this game," Gulutzan said.

"It's no wonder he's one of the best players to ever play the game.

The timing for Jagr to join the Stars couldn't have been any more perfect for the organization, going into the league's third lockout-affected season in the past 20 years. Jagr was in his prime in the 1994-1995, 48-game season and took home one of his five Art Ross trophies.

His impact can also be felt in the confidence he gives teammates by being a scoring threat every time he touches the puck.

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Toronto4Final | Box
Cleveland «6
LA Angels1Final | Box
Detroit «2
Seattle2Final | Box
Miami «3
Atlanta3Final(14) | Box
NY Mets «4
Milwaukee «3Final(14) | Box
Pittsburgh2
St. Louis2Final | Box
Washington «3
NY Yankees «5Final(12) | Box
Tampa Bay1
Minnesota «8Final | Box
Kansas City3
Cincinnati «8Final | Box
Chicago Cubs2
Chicago WSox «16Final | Box
Texas2
Houston1Final | Box
Oakland «4
Philadelphia10Bottom 9th | Box
Colorado9@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, ROOT-RM
Arizona1Final | Box
Los Angeles «4
San Francisco «4Final | Box
San Diego3
Baltimore3Bottom 4th | Box
Boston0@theBallpark | TV: ESPN, MASN
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Dallas85Final | Box
San Antonio «90
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. San Antonio leads series, 1-0.
Charlotte88Final | Box
Miami «99
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Miami leads series, 1-0.
Washington483rd Qtr | Box
Chicago54TV: TNT, CSN-WAS, CHI
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Portland 4/20 9:30 PM ET
Houston TV: TNT, CSN-HOU
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard
Full Scoreboard
No games this week
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «4Final | Box
NY Rangers2
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Detroit1Final | Box
Boston «4
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Tampa Bay02nd Prd 16:59 | Box
Montreal1TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS, Sun
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Los Angeles 4/20 10:00 PM ET
San Jose TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-W
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard