The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/29/11 at 02:55 AM ET
Well that’s that. The Red Wings have offered Jaromir Jagr a contract, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari reports that the Penguins have done the same:
General manager Ray Shero offered Jagr a one-year deal Tuesday and said he believes he will find out today whether Jagr agrees to it.
“[Today] is decision day,” Shero said. “We’ll see what he does. ... He’s got all the information he needs from us [to make up his mind].”
Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, could not be reached for comment last evening, but suggested earlier in the day that he also believed Jagr’s status for the 2011-12 season could be resolved today. Svoboda was expected to consult with Jagr Tuesday night, laying out the options that have emerged since Jagr went public with his desire to return to the NHL. It is not known whether any other team has made a proposal, although the Detroit Red Wings publicly have expressed interest in Jagr and at least one other team, believed to be Montreal, is purported to have contemplated pursuing him.
Shero declined to specify how much money the Penguins are offering, although he characterized it as “fair” and “respectful.” He added that the proposal would not sabotage his attempts to re-sign players such as wingers Tyler Kennedy and Mike Rupp before they hit the open market as unrestricted free agents Friday.
“I don’t know what the [salary] expectations are, but here’s what we can offer and still be able to re-sign the players we want to re-sign,” Shero said. “I’ve always said to our players that if they want to stay in Pittsburgh and win, they might have to take a little less [money].”
Jagr had 19 goals and 31 assists in 49 games with Omsk last season. Whether he is still capable of a point-per-game pace against NHL competition is conjecture, but returning to the team where he enjoyed his greatest success clearly would bring his career full circle.
“We feel he’s a guy who can help us this year,” Shero said. “And then retire as a Penguin.”
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe confirms...
“He was an icon in Pittsburgh,” Shero said. “We’d like to see him finish his career here.”
Shero refused to divulge financial terms, but the Penguins’ offer is in the $2 million range, sources said.
“We made our offer,” Shero said. “It’s an offer that really isn’t going to change. We only have so much to spend. We’ll see what happens. The agent (Petr Svoboda) said it isn’t about the money for Jaromir. He said it’s about the fit.”
The Penguins are about $6.5 million under the salary cap but want to remain at least $1 million under the cap ceiling in case transactions are necessary during the season. They would also like to sign a couple of their unrestricted free agents, including Tyler Kennedy. Shero spoke with Jagr on Monday and was confident the NHL’s ninth all-time leading scorer wants to play for the Penguins.
“That’s what he says,” Shero said. “He really feels like he is in great shape, and I’m sure that he is. He always has been. He saw what (Teemu) Selanne and (Mark) Recchi did this year.”
“We had good talks,” said Svoboda, who noted a decision likely will come today.
Jagr cannot sign an NHL contract until Friday, when free agency begins. The Detroit Red Wings also are believed to have offered Jagr a contract, likely one that is more lucrative. Montreal may also have made an offer.
Here’s the eyebrow-raiser, from MLive’s Ansar Khan:
Petr Svoboda, the agent for Jaromir Jagr, said Tuesday that the forward has not made a decision on his future but that the Detroit Red Wings remain in the mix.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has offered Jagr a one-year deal and believes a decision will be made on Wednesday.
Svoboda said he planned on speaking with Red Wings GM Ken Holland later in the day and have “a few exchanges with numbers,’’ but didn’t expect a deal to be reached right away.
“(Jagr) will try to make a decision fairly soon, but there’s no rush,’’ Svoboda said.
Montreal is reportedly interested, too.
Ditto, says the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:
Wings GM Ken Holland said he’s been in touch with Jaromir Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda, but nothing has changed as far as who will land his services.
Svoboda was reportedly in Pittsburgh Tuesday meeting with Penguins GM Ray Shero, who told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that they offered Jagr a one-year deal and believes a decision will be made today.
Jagr can’t officially sign with anyone until July 1.
There is a third team supposedly in the mix for Jagr’s services, which could be the Montreal Canadiens.
In other words, unless something very strange happens, he isn’t coming to Detroit.
Update: Here’s the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan’s take:
The decision is up to Jaromir Jagr. Jagr, a former NHL scoring champion, received a 1-year contract offer Tuesday from his former team, the Penguins.
A decision could come today from Jagr, 39, as to where he wants to conclude his career — Pittsburgh or Detroit.
Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda said he expects to talk to Wings general manager Ken Holland Wednesday.
Both the Penguins and Red Wings would like to have a decision from Jagr before Friday’s start of unrestricted free agency.
Montreal is the third team supposedly interested in Jagr, who Svoboda said will decide before Friday.
Update #2: Here’s the Free Press’s George Sipple’s Jagr update:
Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Tuesday that the Penguins would find out today if Jaromir Jagr is returning to Pittsburgh. Shero told the newspaper he offered Jagr a one-year deal. Holland said Tuesday he made Jagr an offer awhile ago, and “he’s obviously getting close to a decision. I don’t know which way he’s leaning.”
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