The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/28/11 at 03:19 PM ET
Updated at 3:27 PM: Hopefully this news from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe will put to rest a saga that’s been overly dramatic for both Red Wings and Penguins fans to put up with over the past few weeks:
The Penguins will speak with Jaromir Jagr’s agent about a contract this afternoon. Petr Svoboda, Jagr’s agent, confirmed that he is set to have a meeting with Penguins general manager Ray Shero today.
“We are meeting this afternoon to talk about a deal,” Svoboda said. “Hopefully by tomorrow, we will know something.”
Earlier today, the Penguins signed Pascal Dupuis to a two-year, $3 million deal. They have just under $7 million left under the salary cap for the upcoming season. The Penguins appear to be targeting Jagr, Tyler Kennedy and Mike Rupp as players they would like to sign.
As a Wings fan I just want to see this get over and done with…And Yohe confirms that Svoboda’s willing to admit that he’s received a solid contract offer from Wings GM Ken Holland…
Update: Here’s a bit more on the situation from the Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi:
I don’t know who is a part of this meeting, only that it isn’t being conducted in person. However, I did hear strong rumblings yesterday that there would be at least one more chat between Jagr and his idol/former teammate, Penguins majority co-owner Mario Lemieux.
From what I’m hearing, there should be a pretty good feel by Wednesday from both sides if a deal between the Penguins and Jagr will get done. That doesn’t mean the public will know anything by Wednesday, but I know both sides are interested in getting the ball rolling on a resolution.
Likely scenario is the Penguins making a “this is the best we can do” offer to Jagr, and giving him a deadline to say yes or no. I don’t anticipate a lot of negotiating between the sides. Anything else would be pure speculation at this point. However, let me add this about #JagrWatch:
• The public comments by coach Dan Bylsma have been no accident. My guess, knowing Bylsma a bit, is that he’s been using the media to speak directly to Jagr the past several days. (This actually started several weeks ago, a story I can tell after this Jagr situation resolves itself.) Point is: Everybody I’ve talked to about Jagr says something similar to, “He wants to be told he’s wanted.” Bylsma has essentially been doing this since late last week – and who is to say that this wasn’t the plan all along from the Penguins; Shero presents the pragmatic side publicly while Bylsma sends verbal bouquets from afar. At the very least this is something to consider as #JagrWatch seemingly races towards the finish line.
• Regarding the Red Wings and Canadiens – I suppose it is folly to rule either club out, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Montreal threw a monkey wrench into everything with a multiyear offer. Still, everything I’ve heard is that Jagr is waiting for the Penguins to make their pitch. From the beginning I’ve taken that to mean the Penguins are Jagr’s No.1 choice. At some point, presuming the Penguins make an offer, the puck will be on No. 68’s stick. Ultimately, this decision will come down to him, not the Penguins.
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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.