"I think I'm going to the lake next week and turn my phone off. I'm pretty much done," Nieuwendyk said with a laugh Tuesday after signing 40-year-old Jaromir Jagr to a one-year, $4.5 million contract -- his third major move in as many days to remodel a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2008.
Nieuwendyk signed another 40-year-old, All-Star left wing Ray Whitney, to a two-year, $9 million deal on Sunday, then landed speedy center Derek Roy from Buffalo on Monday in a deal that sent forward Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy to the Sabres. Roy is expected to fill the hole left when Nieuwendyk dealt center Mike Ribeiro to Washington on June 22.
But those moves were just a warm-up for the stunning addition of Jagr, the eighth-highest scorer in NHL history, who returned to the League this past season after three years in Russia to play for the Philadelphia Flyers and put up 19 goals and 35 assists in 73 games.
It's quite a transformation for a team that has gone four years without a sniff of postseason