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 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?





Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
Indiana 10/23 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte 
Philadelphia 10/23 7:30 PM ET
Detroit 
Dallas 10/23 8:00 PM ET
New Orleans 
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
NY Islanders 10/23 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: MSG+, NESN
Pittsburgh 10/23 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: SN360, ROOT-PIT, FSN-DET
Vancouver 10/23 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: NHLN, SN-VAN, FSN-MW
Chicago 10/23 8:00 PM ET
Nashville TV: CSN-CH, FSN-TN
Arizona 10/23 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-N
Carolina 10/23 9:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: SPSO, SN-Flames
Buffalo 10/23 10:30 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: MSG-BUF, FSN-W
Columbus 10/23 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: FSN-OH, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard