The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/23/11 at 02:39 PM ET
Updated 6x w/ more Jagr stuff at 3:21 PM: Earlier today, I appeared on the NHL Home Ice’s War Room with Mick Kern and Peter Berce, and we discussed Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s seventh Norris Trophy win, the scuttlebutt surrounding Jaromir Jagr’s Pens-or-Wings decision-making process, my ill-chosen words regarding Justin Bourne’s take on Lidstrom and a few other quick tidbits.
The entire interview took about 20 minutes, so the player/download link will follow after the jump:
I hope I at least sounded competent—I never listen to my own interviews as I think I sound like a duck.
Also of brief Red Wings-related note this afternoon, as we all await the 2011-2012 schedule’s release:
• According to the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater, after the Red Wings host Paul MacLean, his moustache and the Ottawa Senators in the home opener on Friday, October 7th, the Wings will head to Denver to play against the Colorado Avalanche, and the Avs might retire Peter Forsberg’s #21 prior to the game;
• Because I already got in trouble with Mr. Bourne, I will steer you to Paul’s post regarding a certain James O’Brien’s suggestion that Nicklas Lidstrom ought not to have won the Norris Trophy;
• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Seth Rorabaugh offers a superb pro-versus-con take on Jaromir Jagr’s possible return to Pittsburgh. Amongst his points:
Pro - Skill: Despite his age, Jagr still has the skill set of a legit top six forward in the NHL. He put a lot of that on display this past season in the World Championships by scoring nine points in nine games, tied for fifth-most in the tournament. He was eighth in the KHL regular season scoring race this past season with 51 points in 49 games. With the Rangers in 2007-08, his last full season in the NHL, he had 71 points in 82 games. That would have put him in the top 25 of the league’s scoring race this past season, ahead of all-stars such as Joe Thornton, Daniel Briere and Rick Nash.
Jagr won’t be setting any sort of personal bests if he returns to the NHL in terms of scoring. But he can still be a dangerous offensive threat at this level.
Con - Locker Room: By many accounts, the Penguins have one of the best locker rooms in all of the NHL. It’s something management places a high priority on. This is Sidney Crosby’s team. This is Evgeni Malkin’s team. This is Brooks Orpik’s team. This is Jordan Staal’s team. This is Marc-Andre Fleury’s team. A decade ago, this was Jaromir Jagr’s team. Is he willing to join a “different” team? (If that makes sense.)
Also, Jagr is prone to saying or doing some… uh… curious things. “Dying Alive” is still a popular piece of vernacular in the lexicon of Penguins fans. Even during his last NHL season with the Rangers, there was a report of Jagr meeting with KHL officials about returning to that league before the playoffs started. In short, Jagr is one stray, casual, stream-of-conscious thought from being a silly distraction for his team and for his teammates. Are the Penguins, or any team, willing to take on that baggage?
And here’s where things get interesting, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi’s Twitter account:
I’m told by someone close to Bylsma that his recent #jagrwatch talk isn’t lip service—indeed he is intrigued
A question staff is asking is Jagr is a top 6 forward anymore, and for how many games #jagrwatch #tribpens
Lastly, I’m told discussions are more about fit on ice—that dressing room/money for Jagr aren’t big factors in Pens view #JagrWatch
One last thing, again from yesterday: - hear Jagr hopes Pens come through. Pittsburgh is his preference. #JagrWatch
Deduction from my reporting on #jagrwatch: Bylsma wants him, Shero not so much; may depend on how involved Big Guy wants to get. #tribpens
But it is never THAT simple: Jagr can make this easy by telling Pens he will play cheap (less than $2M). Hasn’t said he will. #tribpens
Lemieux was encouraged by chat with Jagr, but not completely convinced money isn’t big factor in Jagr’s mind. #tribpens
The Red Wings obviously won’t get into a bidding war—as Ken Holland told the Free Press’s Helene St. James this morning, the Wings have made their offer and now Jagr may decide whether he wishes to be a Wing by July 1st or whether the team will move on.
As far as I’m concerned, in my best Don Cherry voice:
[Don Cherry] “Listen, Yommie Yager, if you want to play with Sid and Geno in the Burgh because it’s about nostalgia, just go there. If you want to win and be a good worker bee, you already know from your interview with Mike Babcock that you’re going to have to earn your ice time. Figure it out, Yommie.” [/end Cherry]
Update: I forgot, per Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski: someone broke the Ted Lindsay Award. They need to rebuild its stick out of Ted Lindsay’s hair or whiskers, which are made of titanium.
Update #2: The Sports Network’s mock draft has the Wings picking Vladislav Namestnikov.
Update #3: Um, uh…Per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe:
Jaromir Jagr spoke with Penguins owner Mario Lemieux today.
Lemieux came away encouraged by the conversation, according to sources.
However, the Penguins have not made an offer and are not convinced that Jagr would be willing to play for less money in Pittsburgh. Detroit is also interested in Jagr and likely will offer the NHL’s 9th all-time leading scorer more money.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wants Jagr to play for the Penguins next season. There is, however, a debate within the organization regarding if Jagr, 39, call still be a top-six forward.
Sources say general manager Ray Shero is not interested in paying much more than $1 million for Jagr’s services. The Penguins are committed to roughly $55 million of salary next season, leaving them close to $9 million under the salary cap.
The unknown factor in this situation is Lemieux, Jagr’s former teammate and hockey idol. Jagr has been quite complimentary of Lemieux and the Penguins organization in recent years, and in 2009 said he “owes my hockey life” to Lemieux.
Update #4: These are accurate, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie:
Hearing that the “mystery” third NHL team on Jagr’s list is MTL. JJ intrigued at possibility of hooking up with Tomas Plekanec.
know MTL was on original list but was told that’s third team, for what it’s worth. PIT interest in JJ doesn’t seem as great as DET
Update #5: Oh boy. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejean Kovacevic engaged in a Q and A session with readers, and it was Jagr-heavy:
josh: whats the chances the pens get jagr?
Dejan Kovacevic: My feeling is that, if the Penguins want him, they’ll get him. Our Rob Rossi reported this morning that it might be that Dan Bylsma wants Jaromir Jagr more than Ray Shero does, which would be problematic. But Mario Lemieux runs the place, and it sounds like he’s on board.
I’ll be up in Minnesota this weekend for the NHL draft, by the way, and it would be very surprising if all this didn’t take on a much firmer form there.
Michael: If a deal is consummated by the Jagr and the Pens, do you think 2.5 million will get it done? With salary cap limitations and other holes that need to be filled I’d say that much more than 2.5 million for Jagr would compromise their ability to retain other players. Not at I think [Tyler Kennedy] should be a priority over Jags, but…..
Dejan Kovacevic: Yes, I do think that would get it done.
Bryan: If Shero was willing to sign a 39 Bill Guerin for 2 mil, wouldn’t you think signing a 39 Jagr for about the same wouldn’t be that big of a deal?
Dejan Kovacevic: You would think.
Cory: how do you think pittsburgh would react to jagr if he chooses detroit instead of pittsburhg
Dejan Kovacevic: Pretty much the same as he’s been treated here for a decade.
If that happens, by the way, ask the person next to you at Consol if they have any idea why they’re booing Jagr. And if they mention “dying alive,” ask if they can provide any context for it 11 years later.
SterlingCooperDraperPryce: If Mario wants Jagr, do the Red Wings or Habs stand a chance of landing him?
Dejan Kovacevic: You would think not. But maybe Mario needs to get his GM on board.
Update #6: Ugh, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
FYI that Jaromir Jagr must wait until July 1 to sign with any NHL team.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.