|The Blue Jackets tried to sign free agent Jaromir Jagr,|
but he chose the Dallas Stars and their larger offer instead.
Still a 50-plus point scorer after a zillion years of playing hockey, Jagr would have been a perfect one-year pickup for the Blue Jackets as they try to shake off the feeling of being the 30th place team in a 30-team league.
Dallas eventually signed him, as they offered $300,000 more than the Blue Jackets. No idea how seriously the Jagr camp was considering Columbus. It's one thing to fax an offer sheet to an agent - but it's another altogether to be in the running.
Regardless, the Jagr story lends credence to the (Dispatch originated, I think?) story that the Blue Jackets tried to be more aggressive in free agency but couldn't get anyone to bite. Anyone but Adrian Aucoin, I mean.
Still, it reopens the question box over whether general manager Scott Howson really is a closer. I don't want to go there (and almost would have rather known that Howson was a conscientious objector from the free agent frenzy this year, perhaps using the looming collective bargaining agreement expiration as a crutch), but the result speaks for itself.