The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/22/11 at 03:16 PM ET
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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