Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/14/14
Now, the Devils will get into the process of figuring out which players that are potential free agents that they went to bring back and which ones they’ll let go. As far as potential unrestricted free agents, at the top of the list of the ones they’ll want to keep will be right wing Jaromir Jagr, who, despite turning 42 on Feb 15, played in all 82 games and led the team with 67 points on 24 goals and 43 assists. Jagr has said multiple times he would like to be re-sign with the Devils. His agent, Petr Svoboda, and general manager Lou Lamoriello have already touched base and agreed to begin contract talks after the season. That doesn’t guarantee Jagr will be back, though. “We have to wait and see whatever my agent and Lou talk about,” Jagr said. “I like it here a lot, no question about it. At my age, it’s pretty tough to change teams year after year. It took me at least 15, 20 games just to get used to the players. It’s not easy to play in this league plus you have to get used to a new system, new players. It’s very tough for me and I don’t have that many games left. So, why waste 20 extra games? But we will see.” The future Hall of Famer said it is not a situation that he will push the Devils to get a deal done quickly and will go at whatever pace is necessary. “Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “I don’t push anything. I let it go. Everything happens for a reason, so whatever happens, happens.” Jagr believes in the puck possession system the Devils play and believes they have the potential to be better next season. “We didn’t win as many games as I would like to, but we went into every game and believed that we could win every game,” Jagr said. “That’s very important to me, just go into the game and know that if you play your best you have a chance to win it and we had it. It’s up to the players how much we take advantage. There’s little things we have to fix: shootouts, scoring and the start (to the season). It’s not easy to get points early in the season, like we found out this year, so have to learn. “But I feel like a lot of guys, young guys, especially on defense got an opportunity to play. So, they’re going to get better and that’s the key. When you have good defensemen who can skate with the puck, make plays, it makes it a lot easier for the forwards.” Jagr’s biggest regret, of course, is that the Devils did not qualify for the playoffs. It will be only the third time in his 20 NHL seasons that he won’t compete in the playoffs and the first since 2003-04 with the Rangers. “It was a very enjoyable year for me. Too bad we didn’t make the playoffs,” he said. “At my age, it’s tough to swallow because I’m not going to have that many years left and everybody knows how exciting it is to play in the playoffs where every goal, every mistake and every good play mean a lot. Plus, the fans getting really into it.
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