Jaromir Jagr jokingly takes credit for Capitals drafting Alex Ovechkin, winning Stanley Cup on 18th anniversary of trade
Thursday marked the 18th anniversary of the blockbuster Jaromir Jagr trade that sent the Pittsburgh Penguins legend to the Washington Capitals for prospects Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, and Ross Lupaschuk. In his final season with Pittsburgh, Jagr racked up his fourth consecutive Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in points. Shortly after the Capitals acquired Jagr, they signed him to a seven-year, $77 million contract – with an option for an eighth – the most ever for a hockey player at that time.
But Jagr’s first year in Washington did not meet expectations. It was a disaster. The future Hall of Famer’s numbers plummeted from 121 to 79 as did the team’s record (96 standings points to 85). The Capitals missed the playoffs, finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference. Jagr stayed in Washington for only three seasons total before being dealt to the New York Rangers at the 2004 trade deadline. The Capitals only made the playoffs once during his time in Washington.
Jagr addressed the deal with humor on his Instagram page.
“Caps fans. Sorry it didn’t work out, but I try my best,” Jagr wrote. “After 18 years we should look the positive way. If I would play very good, you would never had a chance to draft OVI. And you would probably didn’t win the cup last year😀👍…….. you welcome😎”