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Lamoriello on Jagr trade: 'By no means are we feeling that we're out of the race'

Noah K. Murray / USA Today

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Lou Lamoriello insisted that trading Jaromir Jagr does not signal the end of the New Jersey Devils' playoff hopes.

The Devils sit eight points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference following Wednesday's loss to the Calgary Flames, which dropped their playoff chances to a minuscule 0.6 percent, according to Sports Club Stats. But Lamoriello said New Jersey isn't giving up.

"By no means are we feeling that we're out of the race," New Jersey's coach and general manager told after the trade. "When transactions like this take place, it gives opportunities for people to come forward."

Lamoriello saw Thursday's deal with the Florida Panthers as an opportunity to acquire draft picks in exchange for a veteran player on an expiring contract. 

Jagr's time on ice decreased noticeably with Lamoriello behind the bench and he publicly expressed his desire to be traded in the weeks leading up to the deal. The coach maintains the decision was made with the franchise in mind, not Jagr's desires.

"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."

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