Los Angeles Kings general manger Rob Blake identified improving a struggling offense as a high priority during the off-season. The Kings only scored 199 goals and were tied with the Buffalo Sabres for 24th best in the league.
Blake’s first moves to addressing the weakness were to keep young, promising forwards Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli. Although it would make sense to add a proven scorer in Jaromir Jagr, Blake revealed the team wanted to go in a different direction while also praising the 45-year-old free agent, according to Lisa Dillman of NHL.com:
“Obviously [Jagr] is a tremendous player, been a tremendous player for a number of years, a [future] Hall of Famer,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said during a Q&A session with season ticket holders on Thursday. “When you get to a certain age, you have to be a certain fit on a team.
“We’ve looked at lot of different free agents in the summer and where it fits in in our projections. … There was also the equation of the salary cap and how things fit in. We didn’t go in the direction of Jagr this year. But again, he’s a tremendous player and I’m sure he’ll surface somewhere.”
Jagr is second on the all-time scoring list with 1,914 points. His 2016-17 NHL season was spent with the Florida Panthers were he totaled 46 points with 16 goals and 30 assists.
It will now be up to the Kings to address their attack internally. The aforementioned Pearson and Toffoli figure to play an important roles moving forward.