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Jaromir Jagr traded to Panthers by Devils

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Jaromir Jagr was acquired by the Florida Panthers on Thursday in a trade from the New Jersey Devils.

The 43-year-old forward had 11 goals and 18 assists in 57 games for the Devils this season. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

New Jersey will receive Florida's second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in 2016.

The Panthers are two points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Florida, which has made the playoffs once since 2000 (in 2012), hosts the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday; Jagr will not play.

The Devils are eight points behind the Bruins, who they play Friday at home.

"Timing is something that sometimes that you don't and can't control. [The trade] had nothing to do with us winning or losing last night," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "[It] gave us an opportunity to acquire two picks that we feel can help us in the future. ...

"By no means are we feeling that we're out of the race. When transactions like this take place, it gives opportunities for people to come forward."

Jagr played 15:55 in a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, but had played fewer than 13 minutes the prior two games, victories against the Carolina Hurricanes (12:13) on Saturday and Arizona Coyotes (12:49) on Monday.

New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer was fired on Dec. 26 and was replaced by Lamoriello, Adam Oates and Scott Stevens. Since the coaching change, Jagr played less than 17 minutes in 17 of 22 games.

"Jaromir never came to me, we never had a discussion about a trade, never had a discussion about where, when, how, why," Lamoriello said. "[That's] not something we feel is the way you should operate with players as far as you have to think about what's best for the organization; players understand that. ... I think Jaromir understands that."

Jagr, in his second season with the Devils, ranks sixth on the NHL list with 716 goals, seventh with 1,068 assists, and fifth with 1,784 points.

He led the Devils with 67 points (24 goals, 43 assists) last season. The Panthers are his eighth NHL team.

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