NHL

NHL pluses and minuses: Jaromir Jagr is enjoying Florida

Jaromir Jagr, now fifth all time in career goals, is happy playing with young guys in Florida

Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the past week:

+ Jaromir Jagr, unhappy with dwindling ice time in New Jersey, is enjoying Florida. In his first game Jagr, 43, skated alongside Aleksander Barkov, 19, and Jonathan Huberdeau, 21. "At my age I feel like I know a lot of things what to do, but I just cannot do it anymore," Jagr said. "It's a lot easier to tell them what to do because they've still got the legs and hands to do it." On Sunday he scored his 717th NHL goal, tying Phil Esposito for fifth all time.

+ Ottawa goaltender Andrew Hammond is 5-0-0 since being promoted after injuries to Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner. In a four-day span Hammond recorded back-to-back shutouts of the Ducks and Kings and defeated the San Jose Sharks, the Senators' first California sweep. Hammond, 27, has a 1.31 goals-against average and .957 save percentage in six appearances this season.

+ The Philadelphia Flyers did defenseman Kimmo Timonen a favor by trading him to the Chicago Blackhawks for two draft picks. Timonen, two weeks short of 40, has had a distinguished career but hasn't won the Stanley Cup. He hasn't played this season after being diagnosed with blood clots in his leg and lungs.

- The Flames' playoff hopes took a big hit Monday when it was determined defenseman Mark Giordano will need surgery to repair a torn biceps muscle and will sit out the rest of the season. Giordano, Calgary's captain, is among the NHL's top-scoring defensemen with 11 goals and 48 points, and averaged 25 minutes 10 seconds' ice time per game.

- The Maple Leafs get a minus for losing 15 straight on the road but get a plus for dumping David Clarkson's oversized contract on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Toronto got Nathan Horton, whose career is in jeopardy because of back problems, but more importantly shed the $5.25-million cap hit Clarkson carries the next five seasons. Horton's $5.3-million cap hit won't count against Toronto's total while he's on long-term injured reserve.

- Interesting move by Sharks players to hold a players-only lunch gathering outside the rink Saturday instead of practicing. They're on the brink of falling out of the West wild-card race; a key reason is they were 0-6-2 at home in February.

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