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Another dynamic star is on his way to New York to help the New York Rangers end six seasons of frustration.

The long rumored trade of Jaromir Jagr to the Rangers is a fact and created an instant buzz in New York where calls to sports radio stations and the like centered around the trade and what it could mean for the Rangers, who have inspired the ire of fans in recent weeks.

Jagr was sent to the Rangers Friday in exchange for winger Anson Carter. The Capitals will reportedly pick up a portion of Jagr's lucrative contract.

For the Rangers, the acquisition of Jagr comes with the team mired in a three game losing streak prior to Saturday night's game in Ottawa. With New York having missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the past six seasons, adding a proven scorer like Jagr is seen by the club as a means of cementing a playoff berth.

"If you look at the record today, we're two points back," Rangers President, GM, coach Glen Sather told reporters in Ottawa, where the Rangers meet the Senators Saturday night. Jagr is expected to be in uniform. "If you're going to do something, now is the time before it's too late.

"If you look at his track record he's been one of the most successful players in the NHL. We think we need a shot in the arm right now and he was available. We think he's going to help us get into the playoffs and go far in the playoffs once we get there.

"He told us today he was nervous and excited about it," Sather said of Jagr's reaction to joining the Rangers. "He's been a great player and I would think he would come to New York and be the same player he's been throughout his career. There's no reason to think that he can't come there and be very successful. He's got a good year going right now."

For the Capitals, the trade of Jagr ended a disappointing chapter in team history. Washington made the bold move to acquire Jagr prior to the 2001-02 season and then signed him to a lucrative contract extension. While Jagr averaged roughly a point per game with the Capitals, he was not the dynamic scorer who regularly cracked the 100-point mark with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Capitals were never able to reap the anticipated rewards. Washington failed to make the playoffs in 2001-02 and last spring the Caps were eliminated in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"This trade is a good one in that it moves the largest player contract in the NHL to a team that can absorb it, and it provides us with options as we seek to improve our team," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said. "We've been trying to make this deal for quite some time. It's a little over two years ago since he went to Washington when we first tried to make the deal. It's taken a long time to get here, but I'm happy it's here."

Despite failing to live up to the fanfare in Washington, Jagr remains one of the League's most talented players and is a five time NHL scoring champ.

In 46 games this season, Jagr has 16 goals and 29 assists and was a minus-4. In 2002-03, Jagr scored 36 goals 41 assists for the Capitals last season.

Jagr, who turns 32 on Feb. 15, remains among the League's elite scorers. Entering play Friday, Jagr was tied with Brett Hull, Mats Sundin and Martin St. Louis for 12th overall in the NHL scoring race.

"No matter how much you say to yourself, 'You're a professional. You've got to go to the game and play your best,'" Jagr told reporters before the trade became official. He was in Sunrise, Fla., where the Capitals played the Panthers Friday night. "It's not easy because any game or any sport, if you want to play the best you can play, you have to be mentally ready. And it's not easy to do right now."

Jagr later collected his skates and sticks and returned to the airport for the flight to Ottawa. At about the same time, Carter was headed back from Ottawa to join the Caps.

"The one thing you should understand is that this wasn't something that he requested," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said of Jagr. "He did not initiate the process. This is something that he did not want to do."

But the Capitals needed budgetary flexibility according to Leonsis.

"With our current payroll, our ability to improve was hindered as well as our flexibility to plan for the future as we move toward a possible new NHL business model," Leonsis said of what's in store for the Capitals now.

Ironically, Jagr was named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team Thursday evening as rumors of an impending trade swirled around the hockey world. The deal, now official, won't change Jagr's All-Star status, he will just represent the Rangers.

In Carter, the Capitals receive a 29-year-old winger who never seemed to fit with the Rangers despite his obvious talents. Carter never seemed to his his stride with the Rangers and his lack of production made him one of the players who had most disappointed Rangers fans. In 45 games with the Rangers this season, Carter accounted for only 10 goals and seven assists. A fresh start in Washington, where he has played in the past, would seem to be a great way of re-engerizing his career. In 1996-97, Carter appeared in 19 games with the Capitals before being traded to the Boston Bruins.

Carter, who was a very productive player with the Edmonton Oilers prior to being traded to New York last season, was a hero in Canada last spring after helping Team Canada win a gold medal at the 2003 World Championships.

Adding Jagr to the New York lineup gives Sather a seemingly endless supply of options for his forward lines. Many of the rumors surrounding Jagr and the Rangers had New York surrendering Eric Lindros in the deal, but Lindros remains in New York and is playing his best hockey since before he was slowed after a series of concussions during his final seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Early speculation had Jagr playing, at least initally with center Petr Nedved and winger Alex Kovalev, a pair of veteran players who also have slumped this season.

Ironically, the Rangers' most pressing need at the time of the deal was on defense. Because of injuries, Darius Kasparaitis, Greg de Vries and Tom Poti have been out of the lineup. Sather had said he was in the market for a pair of defensemen. He nailed down one Friday, acquiring Jamie Pushor from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a eighth-round selection in the 2004 Entry Draft.

Pushor, 30, had two penalty minutes and was minus-2 in seven games with the Blue Jackets. He had a goal and four assists in 17 games with the American Hockey League's Syracuse Crunch.

Pushor, will a much-needed arrival for the New York defense, won't be greeted with the hype that will accompany Jagr. Like Pavel Bure before him. Jagr is the kind of pure goal scorer who can be the most exciting player in the League. The Rangers are hoping for a much more positive experience than the one with Bure. Acquired from the Florida Panthers for a package of players, Bure showed glimpses of brilliance with the Rangers and a budding connection with Lindros. But knee injuries ruined his time in New York and he failed his physical in trainingf camp this fall and has not played.


Jagr is a world-class talent that has put up monster numbers playing alongside some of the game's greats.
In Pittsburgth, Jagr teammed with Mario Lemieux to help the Penguins claim the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cups. As a rookie in 1990-91, showed an immediate grasp of the NHL game. The Czech native scored 27 goals and 30 assists as a rookie and added three goals and 10 assists in the postseason and the Penguins won their first Cup. The followsing season, Jagr scored 32 goals and 37 assists in the regular season and 11 goals and 13 assists in 21 playoff games as Pittsburgh won back-to-back Cups.

In Pittsburgh, Jagr was surrounded by excellent players like Lemieux, Ron Francis, Bryan Trottier, Mark Recchi, Paul Coffey and Larry Murphy. He faces a similar situation in New York where, despite their struggles, the Rangers nevertheless have a roster boasting the likes of Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Bobby Holik, Lindros, Kovalev and Nedved.

"Not many players my age, when they come to the League, have the opportunity or have the luck to learn hockey from good players like I had," Jagr said. "It was probably the best thing that happened to me when I was younger."

Jagr was the captain of the 1998 Czech Olympic gold-medal team. He had a goal and four assists for five points in six Olympic games as his country won the gold medal for the first time. Jagr owns a poplular sports cafe in Prague that was a focal point in the national celebration. Due to his popularity, many Czechs became Penguins fans and the cafe would remain open many nights until dawn as fans watched NHL games involving the Penguins.

Jagr was also a member of the bronze medal-winning Czech teams at the 1990 World Junior Championship and World Championship. Jagr became the first European-trained player to win the Art Ross Trophy in 1994-95 when he had 32 goals and 38 assists for 70 points in 48 games. Lindros, then with the Philadelphia Flyers, also had 70 points but Jagr won the Ross on the basis of more goals, 32 to 29.

Jagr's combination of size, strength and skill can made him an unstoppable force. Few forwards could effectively check him due to his speed, sharp skating cuts, long reach and great strength. He's known for a pair of big, strong legs that simultaneously drive him to top speed while also helping him protect the puck from would-be defenders.

About the only knock on Jagr has been his intensity level which can fluctuate.

When Lemieux first retired after the 1996-97 season Jagr came into his own. Now, instead of being the talented sidekick he was the star and responded to the challenge. Jagr won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer for the next four seasons. In 1997-98 he scored 35 goals and 67 assists. He improved upon that figure in 1998-99 with 44 goals and 83 assists. The 1999-2000 season saw Jagr again carry the offensive load for the Penguins, scoring 42 goals and 54 assists. His last Ross Trophy to date came in 2000-01 when he scored 52 goals and 69 assists.

Jagr grew frustrated in his final season with the Penguins, especially so in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Devils shut down both he and Lemieux in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Talk of a trade made the rounds, and even Lemieux admitted a change would be good for the team and Jagr. That summer he was rumored to be heading to the Rangers, but a trade instead came with Washington for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk and future considerations on July 11, 2001.

The trade hasn't paid immediate dividens for the Penguins either. Lupaschuk has played in only three games for Pittsburgh. Sivek played 38 games last year but is with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., this season. Beech played 79 games in 2001-02 with 10 goals and 25 assists for 35 points but has played only 16 NHL games since then, spending the majority of his time in Wilkes-Barre.

In addition to his Art Ross Trophies, Jagr won the Hart Trophy as the regular-season MVP in 1999 and the 1999 and 2000 Lester B. Pearson Award, given to most outstanding player as voted by members of the Players Association. Jagr also has played in eight NHL All-Star Games -- 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998. 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003. He also was named to the 1990-91 All Rookie Team.
 

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RANJERKS!!!
RANJERKS!!!
you know its sad when a Rangers fan here on the local radio even makes fun of the team. (On late night radio there is this guy who HATES the Islanders and Devils and loves his Rangers but now all he does is make fun of his own team :D )
 

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The Rangers got a win today over Vancouver and it is the first time in a while they played very well. This is only their third win in 10 games but they still have to play much better to reach the playoffs. I watched the game and Jagr was voted the first star.
 

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They did aquire Pushor, they have some decent defenders who are currently injured. They still have time to trade for a big time defender. They were looking at Islanders defender Mattias Timander but he went to the Flyers.
 

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new coach and better defense...they can score but there fowards dont know how to back check...Rangers miss the playoffs again........man i wish it was 94 again
 

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Sather is the coach for the whole season, he is not leaving and today is Rangers vs. Islanders, big game if the Rangers even want to think about the playoffs they HAVE to win this game if they don't then I believe there is no way they will make. Basically the Rangers have to win 80% of their games and hope the Islanders or Canadiens win under 50% of the game remaining.
 

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Rangers are a strange team, they can beat the Islanders (won all 5 meetings this season) and today they lose to the Devils 7-3! And it could of been more becuase the Devils didn't play that good. :eek:
Devils scoring 7 goals is amazing becuase they are kind of like the Italy NT of hockey, they get one or two goals and defend, they play boring defensive hockey and most of their games are 2-1, 2-0 etc..
 

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Well they did beat the Rangers easily yesterday. Although they are not mathematically eliminated they have almost no shot and it doesn't help that 13 out of their next 21 games are away from home where they have been very poor. Rangers will play the Islanders on Thursday and this will be a tough game for the Isles becuase the Rangers really have nothing to lose and they will come out and trying to do anything for a win. I expect a very pyhsical game and hopefully the Islanders can finally beat them on home ice!
 
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