Posted January 12, 2013 on AP on Fox
(Eds: With AP Photos.) The Dallas Stars will have to wait one more day to see their newest acquisition on the ice. Signed to a one-year free agent contract last summer, 40-year-old winger Jaromir Jagr didn't arrive in town from his native Czech Republic until early Friday before a case of jet lag delayed his initial appearance at the club's practice facility. ''The guy's just a presence in our locker room,'' said Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan, whose club missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season last year. ''And when you have a guy of that stature and that ability, it makes people think you can win every night and that can be infectious.'' The good news is Jagr probably won't need much time to work himself into game shape, as he's already been playing for the Czech team he owns, Kladno. With 24 goals and a league-leading 57 points in 34 games, the two-time Stanley Cup winner - 1991-92 with Pittsburgh - seems to have plenty left in the tank. The NHL's eighth-ranked all-time scorer with 1,653 points, Jagr returned to the league last season after spending three season in Russia and compiled 19 goals and 54 points in 73 games with the Flyers. He had a goal in 11 playoff games. One area Jagr will surely help is on the Stars' power play, which ranked dead last in the NHL last season with a franchise-worst 13.5 percent efficiency. ''We're going to put him in his position where he's had the most success, which is kind of running it off the half-wall,'' Gulutzan said. ''He's an offensive guy, he's going to play around 17 minutes a night for us in key offensive situations and we're excited to have him.'' Another key offseason acquisition, especially for the power play, is fellow 40-year-old winger Ray Whitney. The 21-year veteran, who finished 13th in the NHL last year with 77 points (24 goals, 53 assists) while helping Phoenix reach the Western Conference finals, will provide offense and leadership alongside captain Brenden Morrow. ''Whitney's going to help our young guys, he's going to help Brenden in getting our message across as well,'' Gulutzan said. ''We're getting a great two-way player, a guy you can put on the ice against anybody. If you look at his minutes, he doesn't play easy minutes, he plays hard minutes and the points on the power play are going to help us tremendously.'' Whitney, who won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006, said the key to a better power play is having more of them. ''You'll find the more of them you get, the more camaraderie you get, the more used to each other you get and your power play benefits from that. I think with (Jaromir) Jagr and Derek Roy coming in, the guys we've got on the point, I think it is certainly talented enough to be better than 30th,'' he said. Between the two old-timers, along with other newcomers like Roy and physical defenseman Aaron Rome, the Stars are feeling good about their chances in 2012-13. ''It's exciting times around here,'' said Morrow, who turns 34 next Wednesday and is coming off a difficult injury-plagued season that saw him muster just 11 goals and 26 points in 57 games. ''We know Ray already, he's been in town for a couple of months, and the experience he has, and Jags, we haven't met yet, hopefully we'll see him over the next couple of days. We're excited to get them in the locker room and to get the jerseys on.'' Also missing from practice Friday was last season's leading scorer Loui Eriksson and 35-goal scorer Michael Ryder. While Jagr is expected to be on the ice Saturday, the full roster should be ready to go when training camp likely begins Sunday.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Jaromir Jagr (Take full advantage Stars fans)

  When my older brother and I were kids our dad took us to an NHL All-Star practice. Admittedly, almost as exciting as the practice itself was not having to go to school that day as the practice was in the afternoon. It was 1989 and the game was being held in Edmonton that year. I [...]

Newest Stars bring plenty of talent to the ice

FRISCO, Texas-- After the Dallas Stars found themselves missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season thanks to dropping their final five games of last season, new owner Tom Gaglardi and other organizational brass knew some changes had to be made. So, it wasn't a shocker to see longtime stars like Mike Ribeiro, who was traded to Washington on draft night, and Steve Ott...

Are the Stars a playoff team in 2013?

Now that the start of the NHL season, albeit a truncated 48-game version will be played after an extended lockout, is on the horizon, it's time to talk about whether or not the Dallas Stars will end a playoff dry spell that has now reached four years? Of course, the club was very active in the off-season, trading franchise fixtures Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro while adding veterans...

Bill Meltzer: Star Gazing: Did 'Pesky Stars' Sacrifice Too Much Grit in Off-Season?

Over the last two seasons, the Dallas Stars forged a team identity as a scrappy underdog team that may have been a tad short on depth but never stopped battling and never quit on a game even if they faced an uphill climb. Comeback ability and all-around grit were key reasons why the Stars even came close to making the playoffs in 2011 and 2012. If you combine the 2010-11 and...

Bill Meltzer: Star Gazing: Does Dallas Have a Playoff-Caliber Blueline?

The Dallas Stars appear to be a little weaker on defense than they were heading into last season. While the team will be able to ice a lineup with six bonafide NHL defensemen, the club could really use more size and a shutdown blueliner to play against other teams' top lines. Another big shot from the point (to replace Sheldon Souray's) wouldn't hurt, either. Currently...

Wings looking at a January 22nd home opener against Dallas

Even thought he actual schedule wont’ be released until tomorrow, it looks like Wings fans are getting an early glimpse of what the first few games could look like for Detroit as they take to the ice for the first time since the NHL lockout wiped out half of the season. According to Helen St. James of the Detroit Free Press, the Wings are looking to open up their home schedule...

Update On The Restricted Free Agents

via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, The top unsigned player in the NHL is forward Jamie Benn, and he wasn’t at the opening of Dallas Stars camp Sunday....   "I’m optimistic that we’ll have him back on the team, but it won’t be today," Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com on Sunday morning. "We’ll focus on the guys we have here because it’s a short...

Detroit Red Wings Release 2013 Schedule: Home Opener Jan. 22 vs. Dallas Stars

At long last, the NHL season is set to begin, and the Detroit Red Wings will open — as reported multiple times — on Jan. 19 at St. Louis. The Wings’ home opener will take place three days later on Jan. 22, following a Jan. 21 visit to Columbus, when the Dallas Stars visit Joe Louis Arena. Detroit plays six games in the month of January: at St. Louis, at Columbus, vs. Dallas...

Eklund: Contract Length Main Issue w/ Getting Benn Signed

As soon as the Edmonton Oilers signed Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to seven-year and six-year extensions that will carry $6 million cap hits, there was a target figure for the Jamie Benn camp to seek with the Dallas Stars. A good source tells me that the main hurdle for the Stars' restricted free agent to sign before the lockout was the length of the contract. It has never...
Stars News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.