The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/28/11 at 05:45 PM ET
I’m finding this one hard to believe, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari:
Petr Svoboda, the agent who represents Jaromir Jagr, said late this afternoon that his client still has not received a contract offer from the Penguins. Svoboda did, however, confirm that he has spoken with Penguins general manager Ray Shero today. He added that he is engaged in ongoing discussions about Jagr, but declined to say with whom.
Detroit has publicly expressed an interest in signing Jagr, while the Penguins have been contemplating the possibility for more than a week. A third NHL club, believed to be Montreal, also is believed to be at least considering whether to try to sign him.
So he’s met with the Penguins, he’s talked to the Red Wings, and yet neither club has supposedly submitted a contract offer? Come on already…
Inline update: Per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi:
Jagr agent: We’ve exchanged a few things, will talk again tonite. ... Tomorrow afternoon maybe something will be done #jagrwatch
Numbers have been discussed btwn #Pens and #jagrwatch, but not final offer from #Pens. Talks to continue tonite. #tribpens
Update 5:05 PM: Also, with Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen off the market, MLive’s Ansar Khan looks at the Wings’ remaining free agent options on defense...
Who’s left for the Red Wings, who are seeking a top-four defenseman, a good puck-mover who can play the point on the power play, essentially replaced the retired Brian Rafalski?
The three-most prominent defensemen still available are Vancouver’s Christian Ehrhoff, Montreal’s James Wisniewski, Boston’s Tomas Kaberle and Washington’s Scott Hannan, who is more of a stay-at-home defender. These players will surely be seeking long-term deals north of $4 million per season.
Lesser-priced alternatives include Ian White (San Jose), Anton Babchuk (Calgary), Andy Greene (New Jersey), Steve Montador (Buffalo), Jan Hejda (Columbus) and Shane O’Brien (Nashville).
If the Red Wings opt to sign an older player to a shorter-term deal, the pool includes Ed Jovanovski (Phoenix), Roman Hamrlik (Montreal), Sammy Salo (Vancouver), Bryan McCabe (Rangers) and Brent Sopel (Montreal).
While the Sporting News’s Craig Custance offers this take on the top 25 free agents available, throwing a bit of a wrench into things:
1. Brad Richards, C, Dallas Stars
Refused to waive his no-trade clause to give a prospective buyer an early crack at signing him. He is, by-far, the best option available on July 1.
Potential destinations: Toronto, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Detroit, Philadelphia.
3. Christian Ehrhoff, D, Vancouver Canucks
Even with Bieksa’s deal, there might still be room in Vancouver if general manager Mike Gillis can unload Keith Ballard’s contract.
Potential destinations: Detroit, Buffalo, Vancouver.
6. James Wisniewski, D, Montreal Canadiens
Can produce offensively and plays with more of an edge than other offensive defenseman in this group.
Potential destinations: Detroit, Montreal, Columbus, Boston.
11. Radim Vrbata, F, Phoenix Coyotes
It would be in the best interests of both the Coyotes and Vrbata to get a deal done in the desert. He immediately helps any power play.
Potential destinations: Phoenix, Detroit, Los Angeles.
12. Ian White, San Jose Sharks
Played well for San Jose after being acquired from Carolina, but the Brent Burns trade might send him to the market.
Potential destinations: Detroit, San Jose, Toronto, Minnesota.
21. Ed Jovanovski, D, Phoenix Coyotes
According to a source, he won’t be signing with the Coyotes before July 1.
Potential destinations: Detroit, Colorado, Florida, Toronto.
24. Jonathan Ericsson, D, Detroit Red Wings
Regressed a bit following a breakout performance in the 2009 playoffs. The 6-foot-5 defenseman is just 27 years old, leaving room for development. As of Tuesday, he will still in negotiations with Detroit.
Potential destinations: Florida, Detroit, Minnesota.
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