Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/26/05 at 09:59 AM ET
Czech winger Jaromir Jagr is weighing his options for next season after the NHL's new labor agreement limited his earning potential with the New York Rangers. A strong critic of the deal -- which outlines that no player can earn more than 20 percent of the $39 million salary cap set for each of the NHL's 30 teams -- Jagr is considering playing in Russia instead. "The situation changes by the hour," Jagr's personal trainer Marian Jelinek was quoted as saying in the daily Blesk. The 33-year-old was due to be the NHL's highest paid player this season at $11 million. But under the arrangement, Jagr can earn no more than $7.8 million. The Rangers could buy out his contract and make him a free agent, in which case Jagr is likely to make less than the maximum allowed given most teams are struggling to deal with a new economic landscape. On the other hand Jagr could move to Russian team Avangard Omsk, where he played part of last year with the NHL in a lockout. The club is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who also owns English soccer club Chelsea. Avangard lavished millions -- all tax free -- on Jagr to play half a season and is pursuing him again. "It's complicated. I want to hear the opinions of both clubs. It should be solved within three weeks," Jagr told the daily Mlada Fronta Dnes adding money was not the main factor in making a decision. "My heart is pulling me toward Omsk but reason is making me lean toward (New York) ... I really liked it in both places."
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