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Rooting for Jaromir Jagr? One Flyers Fan's Struggle

JagrI have found myself in very unfamiliar territory over the past week or so. On more than one occasion I have have cheered on Jaromir Jagr, and that is something I never thought I'd have to worry about. Since the NHL season started (7 games ago) Jagr has not scored a goal for the Philadelphia Flyers, and some of the media and fans have begun to grow impatient with him.
I remember the very second I heard that Jaromir Jagr had signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. There were so many emotions that flooded through me that it was almost too much. I grew up conditioned to hate him. He was the enemy, and I couldn't view him in any other light. It was a part of the fabric of my being.
At the same time, the Flyers were in the midst of remaking their team, and adding Jagr was another shock in what was becoming a long line of shocking moves from GM Paul Holmgren. But Jagr hadn't played a game in the NHL in 3 years. Would he have anything left in the tank? Would he be able to contribute at a level that even remotely resembled what he used to be?  As much as the idea of Jagr in orange and black nauseated me, it also exhilarated my hockey senses.
Personally, I expected him to be the pompous ass I remembered him being in the '90s. He wasn't. Instead of being the brash punk I remembered playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jagr returned to the NHL as an elder statesman. In his short time in Philadelphia, Jagr has been the vision of how to work hard and be a good teammate. Jagr, as he has done throughout his hockey career, has taken to running midnight practices at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey. Jagr has been given his own key to the facility so that he can skate whenever he wants. Teammates Jody Shelley and James Van Riemsdyk have even joined Jagr from time to time.
Jagr as the perfect teammate and elder statesman of the game? Working harder than everyone else? How did this happen? And Jagr's smile is infectious. Watching Jagr play the game is like watching a kid open a birthday present. For Jagr, playing hockey is pure joy... and it shows.
Jaromir Jagr wound up scoring 2 breakaway goals in the Flyers 4-2 defeat of Toronto Maple Leafs. It was vintage Jagr. After his first goal, you could see how he energized the rest of the team. The Flyers lost Chris Pronger in the first period of the game after he took a high stick to the eye. Pronger never returned, but the Flyers found leadership in other people on the ice. Jagr was a huge part of that.
Here's hoping that Jagr's two goals tonight opened the flood gates.


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Good story. I thought you would be a Jagr hater from the headline.

You too, are turning.

Freak, those two breakaway goals were things of beauty. He will make this team better, with all the youngsters.

I have to hand it to the Flyers' brass to get a whole lot younger. Simmons is a player!

Nice to have you aboard.

Thanks for fixing the head on my last story.

Scott Eisenlohr


Thanks for reading. With the way Jagr has played and the example he is setting for the younger players, it's really hard to not like him. I'm looking forward to seeing what this season brings.

I really enjoy reading your articles. Keep it up!

Thanks again,

Thanks, Wayne.

I love sports, especially baseball and just love, love Philly.

I felt the same way about Pete Rose until he came to the Phillies.

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