Pre-Deadline Roundup: Feb. 26

Updated: February 27, 2015 at 7:00 am by Cam Lewis

A message to NHL General Managers: please relax, slow down, and save something for the deadline. At the rate this is going, Monday is going to be about as exciting as a game against the Minnesota Wild. The Leafs did the unthinkable and unloaded David Clarkson’s contract, and jaromir Jagr is a Florida Panther. 

Here’s how it all went down:

Jagr takes his talents to South Beach 

The New Jersey Devils trade Jaromir Jagr to the Florida Panthers for a 2015 2nd round draft pick, and a 2016 3rd round draft pick. No salary is retained by New Jersey and neither draft picks have any conditions. 

The Panthers will take on $1.331 million in cap space for Jagr’s services for the rest of the season, while New Jersey will save that same amount. Jagr is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

Okay, if somebody had told me back in, say 2007, that in 2015 a 43 year old Jaromir Jagr was going to be suiting up for the Florida Panthers, I would have had a good laugh. I mean, the Panthers didn’t even exist when Jagr came into the league in 1990, and by the time they did make their debut in 1993, he had already won two Stanley Cups. He also made his NHL debut before, like, half of his new teammates were born, and he’s older than Alex Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau combined. 

Regardless and jokes aside, I would love to see Jagr pull the Panthers into the playoffs. They actually aren’t that far out, as they sit just two points behind the Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Jagr has 11 goals and 29 points in 57 games this season for the Devils, but he’s just one year removed from a season in which he put up 24 goals and 67 points in 82 games. The best thing about Jagr’s 2013-14 season is the fact he received one fifth place vote for the Hart Memorial Trophy, meaning he had the same 0.07 vote percentage as Alex Ovechkin. 

THE END OF THE CLARKSON ERA

The Maple Leafs send David Clarkson to the Blue Jackets for Nathan Horton. No salary is retained by either side. 

Yeah, you read that right. The Leafs actually managed to dump arguably the biggest albatross of a contract in hockey and send David Clarkson away for a player who very likely will never play again. 

Our friends at Leafs Nation go into detail here, but the moral of the story is that Toronto picked up a guy who won’t affect their cap situation because he’ll be placed on the Long Term Injured Reserve. Toronto will receive an LTIR cushion as long as Horton is deemed to be unfit to play, which could be until the end of his contract in 2021. Why the hell would Columbus do this? Well, apparently they messed up and didn’t insure Horton’s contract for injury, and I imagine their ownership wasn’t as okay with spending $5.30 million on a player to not play as Maple Leaf ownership is.

Regardless, the Leafs are free of Clarkson’s contract and the Jackets are now happily (?) spending real money on a player who actually plays for them.