In a season during which one of the major story lines was the tremendous youth this Flyers team showed, the addition of Jaromir Jagr and the leadership and work ethic he demonstrated on the ice and in the dressing room can't be understated.
Not only is he a legend of the game suiting up for our squad, but his wonderful personality made it seem like he'd been in Philadelphia for years. He's immensely likable. And Jagr was a big contributor throughout the entire 2011-12 season, netting 19 goals along with his 54 points.
He also helped Claude Giroux blossom into a superstar.
[PHOTO GALLERY: Not how Claude Giroux wanted his season to end]
At 40 years old, and after a playoffs in which he didn't look all that fast (though he did score one playoff goal against the Penguins and had seven helpers over the two series), it's only natural to wonder if Jagr will be back for another go around with the orange and black.
Whether Jagr has the fire to give the NHL another go or not remains to be seen, but he has indicated he'd like to continue playing in the league. No matter what sweater he wears next, he clearly loved this team.
Following Tuesday nights' season-ending loss, Jagr was asked about his future.
"Oh I don’t know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen—it doesn’t really matter what’s gonna happen," Jagr said.
"I have to say, thanks for the support from the fans. I love everyone on this team. That was probably the most enjoyable year I’ve ever had. I’ve won some cups, I’ve won some trophies, but I loved this year. From the organization to the last player on the team, and the fans, they were so nice to me. I hate to finish it right now, that’s the worst feeling. You finish the whole story, the whole year, that’s a sad day, today for me…I wanna cry right now."
Whether those are just the emotional words of someone just stepping off the rollercoaster or genuine sentiments considered many times over the course of a season, we'll never know. But it's clear Jagr is glad he chose Philadelphia.
While it's difficult to speculate what a legend like Jagr's future holds mere hours after an enjoyable season came to a premature close, what would a sports blog be if we didn't already start looking ahead to next year.
Would you like to see Jaromir Jagr return for another season wearing a Flyers' sweater? At what cost?