Monday, January 25, 2016

What if Jaromir Jagr Hadn't Played in the KHL?

On December 20, Jaromir Jagr passed Marcel Dionne for fourth all-time on the NHL goal list with 732 goals. While it took Dionne 1348 games, Jagr took 1581, but that was because in this era, defence has much more of an emphasis and goaltenders are much better. According to Yahoo Sports, "Jagr is fourth in goals behind Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801) and Brett Hull (741). His 1,826 points (through Sunday’s games) rank fourth behind Wayne Gretzky (2,857), Mark Messier (1,887) and Gordie Howe (1,850)."

It's fair bet to say that he could get ahead of Messier and Howe in the next season or two, and he could very well pass Hull and possibly Howe in goals, if he plays for long enough. However, the question is, what if he hadn't gone to play in the KHL? Where would he have been now?
In 1994-95, there was an NHL lockout that took away half of the season, then another in 2004-05. (Apparently this is a thing that happens every ten years nowadays *Thank you, Gary Bettman* because there was also one in 2012-13.) Anyway, he also played in the KHL for three seasons from 2008-11. Based on projections from Yahoo Sports, if he hadn't spent that much time off from the NHL, he would have ended up with 852 career goals and 2,174 career points, not counting injuries, slumps, etc. 

This "what-if" will forever continue to haunt us hockey fans - where would Jagr be right now without these years he took off?

No comments:

Post a Comment