Better With Popcorn

A Look At The 'New Guys': Past Pens' Edition

Welcome to the first installment of a five-part series focusing on the Flyers’ ‘new guys’ – offseason acquisitions, draft picks, and players who have made the jump from the AHL to the NHL. In this piece, we’ll be focusing on former Penguins Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot.

Jaromir Jagr
In one of the most talked-about moves the Flyers made over the summer, they signed former NHL MVP Jaromir Jagr to a one year, $3.3 million deal.
Questions arose almost immediately; how would Jagr fare back in the NHL after being away from the league for three years? Would his age hinder his performance? Would he mesh well with the revamped squad?
Jagr proved the naysayers wrong from the get-go, scoring four points in five games.
In 19 games he’s recorded 17 points, with six goals and 11 assists.
His chemistry with linemate Claude Giroux made it appear like the two had been playing together for years. Their technique and the goals that came as a result were just plain pretty. It seemed like Jagr hadn’t missed a beat between his last NHL season and this one.
Unfortunately for Jagr and for the team, he has missed four of the team’s last five games. Though the Flyers have yet to specify anything other than a “lower body injury,” the general consensus is that Jagr is dealing with a groin strain.
Jagr played less than two minutes during the matchup against the Phoenix Coyotes on November 17th. He left in the first period and did not return.
He went on to miss the next two games with the undisclosed “lower body injury.”
Jagr returned to the lineup against the New York Islanders on November 23rd, but reaggravated the injury in the second period and did not return after leaving the ice.
Thankfully, it looks like Jagr will return to the lineup Friday night, as the team takes on the struggling Anaheim Ducks.
Barring future injury, Jagr is on pace to score over 60 points this season. If he can stay healthy and contribute at the same level with which he started the season, this signing will prove to have been a successful move for the Flyers.
Max Talbot
About two hours after the Flyers announced the Jagr signing, they announced another: a five-year, $9 million deal for former Pittsburgh forward Max Talbot.
The 27-year-old spent seven years in the Penguins organization, recording 108 points in 388 games at the NHL level.
A versatile player, Talbot’s strengths are his ability to play either on the wing or at center, his skills on face-offs, and his aptitude on the penalty kill.
So far with the Flyers, he has a total of 12 points in 23 games.
He has seen time on both the third line (most recently alongside Matt Read and Sean Couturier) and fourth line (recently with Zac Rinaldo and Jody Shelley), and has been strong on the penalty-killing unit.
In addition to his on-ice skills, Talbot brings leadership to a squad that underwent many changes during the offseason. For the numerous rookies making their debuts with the Flyers this year, having a guy like Talbot around surely helps make the jump into the NHL a little easier.
Talbot is one of those guys hockey fans love to hate, until he’s playing for their team. He is a gritty player and has fit in quite nicely with the Flyers.
Over the last five games, he has only recorded one point, but numbers aren’t everything when it comes to a guy like Max Talbot. Even when his name doesn’t appear on the score sheet, he is still contributing with his grittiness on the ice and his strong presence in the locker room.
Despite his recent point drought, the Talbot signing looks to be another wise move by the Flyers. The strength and skill he brings both on and off the ice is a benefit to the organization and its players.
Jagr and Talbot will face their former team for the first time on December 8th.




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George Prax's picture

Great post Kim. It's been a little weird seeing these guys in Pens uniforms, especially Jagr, but I think Flyers fans have quickly forgotten they used to be their rivals. Every time I see a new Jagr highlight i bang my head on the table that the Habs didn't pick him up.