Thursday marked 18 years since the Penguins traded Jaromir Jagr to the Capitals.
Jagr commemorated the day with a very Jagr-like message on Instagram.
"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 (Alex Ovechkin). And you would probably didn’t win the cup last year ........ you welcome."
In Czech, Jagr added, "My first season for the Caps is said to have been terrible, but I was still fifth in scoring and I missed 13 games. I don't know, PRAISE IS NICE, CRITICISM NECESSARY"
In 2014, general manager George McPhee said in an interview with Monumental Sports Network that he wasn't sure Jagr would be a good fit in Washington at the time of the trade.
“I said at the time, ‘This is the right player at the right time for us.’ But I wasn’t sure that it was the right player at the right time for us," said McPhee. "We were building our organization with bricks and when we did that, we suddenly went to siding or a different material. We got on a different bus. It’s always about team construction and we weren’t really constructed the right way to absorb him. ... I remember telling (owner Ted Leonsis) that and he said, ‘It’s my team, it’s my money, and I want to do it.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ The good news is we didn’t give (the Penguins) anything.”
Jagr played in Washington for two and a half seasons, before being traded to the Rangers midway through the 2003-04 season. While in Washington, his production dipped from the 1.34 points per game he averaged with the Penguins to just 1.05 points per game.
The Capitals finished second in the Southeast Division in 2001-02 and 2002-03, and next-to-last in the league in 2003-04, paving the way for the Capitals to win the 2004 draft lottery and draft Alex Ovechkin No. 1 overall.