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The latest on Jagr’s Penguins-or-Red Wings decision-making process

Updated with Hawks talk (they’re not interested) at 1:37 PM: And so the Jaromir Jagr to the Red Wings-or-Penguins drama continues, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi...

Jaromir Jagr is expected to speak with Penguins owner Mario Lemieux and general manager Ray Shero at some point today, according to Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda.

“That’s what I am expecting to happen today,” Svoboda said. “They are supposed to talk.”

Nothing imminent is expected with Jagr’s status. Svoboda confirmed that the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings remain the frontrunners for Jagr’s services.

“But nothing is going to happen in the next couple of days,” Svoboda said.

Svoboda is currently in the Czech Republic, but said he will be in the United States on Friday. The NHL Entry Draft begins Friday in St. Pau, Minn., and that weekend often triggers trades and big NHL news. It wouldn’t be shocking if Jagr news occurs during the draft. Svoboda might be visiting the United States with the intention of closing a deal with the Penguins or Red Wings. It seems likely that Jagr will sign with either the Penguins or Red Wings - or a mystery third team — before NHL players are eligible for free agency on July 1.

“I would say there is a good chance something gets done before July 1,” Svoboda said. “It’s not anything for sure, of course. It’s not 100 percent. But something could get done. It just won’t be in the next couple of days.”

And ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

“We had more discussion yesterday with Detroit and Pittsburgh,” Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, told ESPN.com on Wednesday morning. “Jags may be talking with [Pens GM] Ray Shero and maybe [owner] Mario [Lemieux] today, so hopefully we’ll be further along after that. Hopefully we’ll have some news, one way or another, soon.”

Having said that, Svoboda didn’t think a resolution was coming Wednesday, so the waiting will continue for a bit. In the meantime, we asked Svoboda about the widespread theory among some hockey observers that the talks with Detroit and Pittsburgh is all about extracting more money from a KHL team in Russia.

“It’s absolutely not true,” said Svoboda. “I’ve heard that, but it’s not true. I mean, there’s always that option if things don’t work out with [the NHL], but this is not about trying to get more money from [the KHL]. I know Jags wants to come back to the NHL and for the right reasons.”

(It should be noted that Jagr has a different person representing him in his KHL talks.)

Another quick Jagr note: Some Bruins fans via Twitter were asking us whether the Cup champs might be that third, mysterious team showing interest in Jagr. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, via text, said “No” to us when we asked him that Wednesday. For that matter, the Kings, Canucks, Blackhawks and Sabres also told us they’re not involved on the Jagr front (again, because fans were asking us).


Update: Comcast Sportsnet Chicago’s Tracey Myers confirms:

Jaromir Jagr is poised for an NHL comeback, and his agent told Pierre LeBrun that there’s interest from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings and a “mystery team.”

[Blackhawks GM Stan] Bowman said the Blackhawks aren’t that mystery team.

“We have not talked to him and his agent,” he said.

Update #2: Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Shelly Anderson:

LAS VEGAS—The agent for former Penguins star Jaromir Jagr said today that “nothing has changed since [Tuesday]” in terms of a possible deal to bring the right winger back.

Petr Svoboda added that there could be developments in terms of Jagr rejoining the NHL “in the next couple of days.” Svoboda will be traveling from the Czech Republic to Minnesota, where the hockey world will descend for the NHL draft this weekend.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero has spoken with Svoboda but has been mum publicly on the chances of signing Jagr, 39, who is a free agent after playing in Russia the past three seasons. Shero is in Las Vegas for tonight’s NHL Awards and will be headed for Minnesota.

Update #3: Via the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc:

One player who won’t be joining the Hawks is veteran winger Jaromir Jagr. The former NHL star has been playing in Russia but has indicated he could return to the league. If he does, Bowman said it won’t be with the Hawks.

“I have not spoken to him or his agent,” Bowman said of Jagr, who is reported to be interested in joining either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Detroit Red Wings. “He’s obviously had a storied career. I saw him play over in the World Championships. He can still play hockey for sure. He’s a talented guy. I think our focus right now is on some of our younger players getting opportunities and we haven’t pursued Jagr.”

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Comments

GrahamWIIM's avatar

Well, I don’t know if the on-ice Jagr will turn out to be Modano 2.0, but this offseason “will he or won’t he?” crap is sure feeling familiar to last year.

Posted by GrahamWIIM from Chicago via Toronto on 06/22/11 at 03:37 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

I would be surprised if this “mysterious third team” existed.

Jagr, please don’t sign with Detroit.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/22/11 at 03:38 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I can’t believe I’m going to say this but… I’d rather hear about the latest Britany Spears news than any more of this Jagr circus.

Posted by calquake on 06/22/11 at 03:40 PM ET

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As a fan of good hockey story lines, I hope Detroit signs Jagr and plays the Penguins in the Finals.  Screw the other 28 hockey teams, Det vs Pit has been the best Finals match up since the lockout, in my opinion.

Posted by fueledbyjake on 06/22/11 at 03:41 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

The only way I see the Wings even thinking about signing Jagr is if he comes cheap, it’s a one year deal, and he commits to working his butt off to lose some weight and get in shape.  Since we’ll be facing a lot more players with contracts up next year, it might be a one-year, transition-type move.  But I’d still rather see the Wings promote some of our own young players.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/22/11 at 03:45 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Come to think of it, I’m not sure what all the Jagr hype is aboot anyway. It’s not like he can sign with a team before 1 July.
This suspiciously smells of a build-up to a July 1st one-hour special on ESPN to announce a decision with which team he will sign. Ickk Noo

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/22/11 at 03:46 PM ET

Jordan_NOHS's avatar

He can sign before July 1st. his rights aren’t owned by any NHL team so he doesn’t become a FA on July 1st he already is

Posted by Jordan_NOHS from Detroit, MI on 06/22/11 at 03:49 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Posted by DeathtotheHawks on 06/22/11 at 01:49 PM ET

I had no idea. Thanks.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/22/11 at 03:51 PM ET

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the 3rd team is Montreal, Jagr enjoyed playing with Plekanec at the worlds

Posted by puckeye on 06/22/11 at 03:51 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

this tweet from Rob Rossi of the trib Heard from someone just now Jagr really wants #Pens to come through, that Pittsburgh is where he wants to be. #tribpens #jagrwatch

Posted by Evilpens on 06/22/11 at 03:56 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

If the 3rd team is Montreal, that is sort of weird, since up until a few days ago Montreal was listed, along with Detroit and Pittsburgh, as one of the teams most interested in Jagr.  In fact, I think a lot of folks thought that Montreal was the most likely destination for the guy until just recently.

I like how they’ve become a “mystery” team all of a sudden, if that’s true.  It’s like they were standing there, went behind the curtain, came out wearing the exact same clothes except put a mask on and are all of a sudden a “mystery team.”

I imagine the “mystery team” is just an illusion.  Not to say that there aren’t other possible suitors, but the more interest Svoboda can generate for his client, the better odds he gets a good contract.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/22/11 at 03:56 PM ET

Jordan_NOHS's avatar

this tweet from Biasd Detroit Reporter of the newspaper Heard from someone just now Jagr really wants #Wings to come through, that Detroit is where he wants to be. #newswings #jagrwatch

Posted by Jordan_NOHS from Detroit, MI on 06/22/11 at 04:01 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The Mystery team:

Fred is the GM, Velma is the coach, Daphne is the director of scouting.  Scooby and Shaggy are the video replay specialists.

And Jagr would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for that darn mullet.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/22/11 at 04:02 PM ET

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I imagine the “mystery team” is just an illusion.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the mystery team is one of the teams (Islanders, Panthers, etc) who are going to be way below the cap and could offer him a big payday just to be cap compliant, then Svoboda would use that offer to try to get more out of Pittsburgh/Omsk/Detroit.

Posted by Garth on 06/22/11 at 04:04 PM ET

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the 3rd team is Montreal, Jagr enjoyed playing with Plekanec at the worlds

And he’s been pals with Hamrlik for almost two decades. Still, Montreal said they weren’t interested, which baffles me. Perfect fit with them. Detroit and Pittsburgh, not so much.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/22/11 at 04:09 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Ladies and Gentlemen, the third team is the Floriduh Panthers—AKA, the “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” final answer.

Tax free, lots of great weather, a franchise with money to burn, and a fan base that just doesn’t care.

It’d be perfect for him.

Posted by SK77 on 06/22/11 at 04:11 PM ET

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Posted by Garth on 06/22/11 at 02:04 PM ET

That’s a good point about Florida. Short of trading for Dipietro’s insurance policy and Yashin’s buyout, I can’t see an easy way for them to get to the floor in this FA market. What else are they going to do, give Byron Bitz $12 million?

Posted by steviesteve on 06/22/11 at 04:12 PM ET

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Posted by DeathtotheHawks on 06/22/11 at 02:01 PM ET

HAH!

Posted by Garth on 06/22/11 at 04:12 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the mystery team is one of the teams (Islanders, Panthers, etc) who are going to be way below the cap and could offer him a big payday just to be cap compliant…

That’s entirely possible.  If Jagr wants to spend his year in the NHL playing for some irrelevant bottom feeder and one of the GMs of those teams actually thinks Jagr’s worth the trouble to become cap complaint, go for it.

That said, if I’m Shero or Holland or whoever the hell is the GM of Omsk and I hear from Svoboda that the Islanders or Panthers are willing pay Jagr $4 million I call that bluff immediately. 

That scenario reminds me of the following exchange in the movie “Snatch” between Bullet Tooth Tony and the wanna-be gangsters:

Bullet Tooth Tony:  And the fact that you’ve got “Replica” written down the side of your guns…
[Zoom in on the side of Sol’s gun, which indeed has “REPLICA” etched on the side; zoom out, as they sneak peeks at the sides of their guns]

Bullet Tooth Tony: And the fact that I’ve got “Desert Eagle point five O”...
[Withdraws his gun and puts it on the table]

Bullet Tooth Tony: Written down the side of mine…
[They look, zoom in on the side of his gun, which indeed has “DESERT EAGLE .50” etched on the side]

Bullet Tooth Tony: Should precipitate your b*lls into shrinking, along with your presence. Now… F**k off!

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/22/11 at 04:20 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

DeathtotheHawks OH !!!! How sweet A Jr. High Kid Joined KK’s


Listen Jr. Reporters aren’t “Biasd” for a player signing with a team, Rossi was in Jr. High Like you when Jagr played Here

Posted by Evilpens on 06/22/11 at 04:25 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

The Mystery team:

Fred is the GM, Velma is the coach, Daphne is the director of scouting.  Scooby and Shaggy are the video replay specialists.

And Jagr would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for that darn mullet.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/22/11 at 02:02 PM ET
—————————————————————————————————————————————————
Fixed:

The Mystery team:

Mr. Furious is the GM, The Blue Raja is the coach, The Bowler is the director of scouting. The Invisible,The Spleen & The Sphinx are the video replay specialists.

And Jagr would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for that darn mullet.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 06/22/11 at 04:29 PM ET

Jordan_NOHS's avatar

Posted by Evilpens on 06/22/11 at 02:25 PM ET

grin

Posted by Jordan_NOHS from Detroit, MI on 06/22/11 at 04:31 PM ET

awould's avatar

Jagr is hoping Versus will air The Decision: NHL Edition” where he will let the world know that he is keeping his talents in the KHL for a bigger paycheck and more attention.

This saga is getting old fast. A ‘mystery team’? Just shut up.

Posted by awould on 06/22/11 at 04:42 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Jeebus, George.  I get two shots of TMR Java this morning.  Awesome.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 06/22/11 at 04:43 PM ET

GrahamWIIM's avatar

I think Jagr is going to re-grow and then cut off the mullet, and he will try to “read” the snippings of hair in the same way a psychic reads tea leaves.

Posted by GrahamWIIM from Chicago via Toronto on 06/22/11 at 04:52 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

I really do not understand why we would add Jagr. I guess at the right price, but is he really at the same level he was in 08? Judging by what he is asking for salary-wise, I’d guess not.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 06/22/11 at 05:01 PM ET

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Tomas Jurco - RW - St. John

Posted by Jesters Dead on 06/22/11 at 05:27 PM ET

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Tried to call Jagr’s last team in Russia .. some guy named Peggy answered the phone and said Jags was out of town for re-training.

Posted by BossWolf from Ohio on 06/22/11 at 10:06 PM ET

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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.