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Welcome to the land of the silly as Jagr watch drags on for the Red Wings and Penguins

Updated 3x with Ray Shero at 7:02 PM: It gets curiouser and curiouser—or dumber and dumber. According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, Jaromir Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, continues to delay and deny any reports that his client might have his “heart in Pittsburgh,” Detroit or anywhere else, nor does he seem to have any intention to ask his client to make up mind in short order:

Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, said this afternoon that he’s still in talks with the Detroit Red Wings, as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins and other teams, refuting a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the one-time NHL star had decided to sign with the Penguins.

“No decisions have been made,’’ Svoboda said. “We’re talking a lot. Nothing is going to happen before 6 p.m.’‘

Judging by how this saga has dragged on now for two weeks, there’s no guarantee anything will happen after 6 p.m., either.Asked if he anticipated a decision today, Svoboda said: “I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know.’‘

But, he added, “The Red Wings are obviously one team he wants to play for. There’s a chance (a decision) could come later today.’‘

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejean Kovacevic speaks for many of us when he says that this has gotten out of hand, and to the point where at least the Penguins—if not the Wings as well—might want to pass on a 39-year-old who’s acting like he’s 12:

[N]ow, Svoboda casually declares that a couple other teams have poked their heads into the hole and that a decision might not come today. Enough already.

[Penguins GM Ray] Shero and the Penguins stepped up, including Mario Lemieux, Dan Bylsma and everyone else involved in the process. Their offer, by all accounts, is fair — one year in the range of $2 million — and pretty much everything they have left under the cap while maintaining a contending team. They kept their word.

It`s time for Jagr to show whether or not he`s serious when he tells people “his heart is in Pittsburgh,” as Svoboda reiterated again this morning.

This isn`t that complicated.

Shero and the Penguins have to get about the serious business of hitting the ground running Friday at noon when the NHL`s free agency season begins. And they can`t afford to go one minute past 11:59 a.m. that day waiting for Jagr, Svoboda, other bidders or turtles.

And, via Paul, let’s just say that Red WIngs GM Ken Holland wasn’t delighted when speaking about Jagr’s act with NHL Live’s EJ Hradek this afternoon:

Mike Modano, who’s now telling the Dallas News’s Mike Heika that he wants to test the market, seems incredibly sane by comparison.

Update: Here’s all Holland had to say about the free agent class—and if Bob McKenzie’s right and the Sabres signed Ehrhoff for 10 years and $40 million (and TSN is confirming the numbers, which is scary) he doesn’t look dumb at all for choosing not to toss money at Ehrhoff or Wisniewski like it has an expiration date—to the AP’s Ira Podell:

“I don’t think there are a lot of stars that are free agents,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “But I think there are some players out there who can help.”

At this point, I think that we’re looking at Jovanovski, Barker, Souray, possibly Wisniewski if he hits the market, White or Kaberle, and that’s not ideal, but Holland’s looking to bolster the Wings’ blueline at a sane price, and the amounts of money and term players have been receiving thus far have been nothing less than insane.

Update #2: I was helping the aunt purchase a refrigerator, so here’s what Holland had to say to NHL Live, via the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan, starting with Jagr’s status…

“Nothing has really changed,” Holland said. “I’ve continued to have ongoing dialogue, I guess, with his agent, and like I’ve said, we’ve expressed interest. I’m told he’s (Jagr) in North America, somewhere. Beyond that, nothing is really going on. Tomorrow, July 1, at noon, we’re going to try to make moves to improve our team.”

Here’s his update on the Wings’ UFA’s-to-be…

Holland said negotiations continue with defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and forwards Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller. Holland is hopeful deals can be worked out with those players, who are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents Friday.

“I’d like to think the players we have would like to stay here, and we’d like to keep them,” Holland said. “We have to find a number we can all be happy about.”

And, again, Kris Draper and Chris Osgood won’t be offered contracts until the Wings have availed themselves of better options on the free agent market:

“I want to explore the market for a little bit in early July to see what is out there,” Holland said. “Certainly there’s a chance we will be re-signing them, but we owe it to the organization to explore the market because we have some money to spend. We’re trying to change our team a little bit if possible.”

If Wisniewski comes onto the market, I think the Wings will snap him up, but not for the sake of overpaying for his talents. Otherwise, it’s platooning two lesser lights to fill Rafalski’s spot and/or making a trade.

Update #3: On Ehrhoff, per Bob McKenzie:

Now confirmed: Ehrhoff’s deal with BUF is 10 years, $40 million, broken down as follows: #tsn
...
Year 1: $8M signing bonus, $2M salary; Year 2: $5M SB, $3M sal. That’s $18M in 1st 2 yrs, or $15M before puck drops on 12-13 season. #tsn
...
Year 3: $4M; Year 4: $4M, Year 5: $4M; Year 6: $4M; Year 7: $3M; Year 8; $1M; Year 9: $1M, Year 10: $1M. Modified NTC. Cap hit=$4M/yr. #tsn

WOW.

And here’s a new Jagr story from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi:

Penguins general manager Ray Shero spoke with Jaromir Jagr’s agent around 5 p.m. today, but the team does not know if Jagr will accept a one-year offer for around $2 million to return. Shero said Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, told him the Penguins “are very much in the mix.” Svoboda expected to speak with Jagr tonight, Shero said.

“He doesn’t want to force him into a decision,” Shero said of Svoboda. Shero said the Penguins’ offer to Jagr remains “on the table,” and that not hearing from Jagr tonight would not alter his hope of signing Jagr when the NHL free-agent period opens tomorrow.

“He’s not holding us hostage or anything,” Shero said, adding that he believes the Penguins can sign Jagr and keep right wing Tyler Kennedy given their salary-cap space. Shero said he never set a deadline of Wednesday for Jagr to accept an offer presented Tuesday after Shero spoke with Svoboda and Jagr.

“Petr thought the decision would be made by Wednesday; I never put a deadline on it,” Shero said. “I said that certainly us, and probably a lot of other teams, would want to know by the start of free agency – that I’d like to have an idea of what’s going on.”
...

“He could really push the envelope here if he wants, but he’s made it clear this is where he really wants to play,” Shero said. “Hopefully we can find something by tomorrow, whether it’s a one-, two- or three-year deal that makes sense. That’s what we’re trying to do now.”

...

Shero said he is hoping that Jagr has “meant what he’s said by wanting to do right by Mario (Lemieux).”

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Comments

SYF's avatar

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejean Kovacevic speaks for many of us when he says that this has gotten out of hand, and to the point where at least the Penguins—if not the Wings as well—might want to pass on a 39-year-old who’s acting like he’s 12:

Actually, I’m thinking he’s acting like Lebron Kovalchuk.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 06/30/11 at 08:08 PM ET

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SYF:

Agreed. If he acts like this now….how will it look during the season?!

Posted by Meg on 06/30/11 at 08:16 PM ET

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I’ll bet he ends up in Detroit…christ. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow much, except to get it over with. It looks like our offseason will consist of re-signing E, adding Jagr, losing Eaves and/or Miller and picking up some scrap parts to replace Rafalski and said forward(s). Great.

Posted by godblender on 06/30/11 at 08:18 PM ET

SK77's avatar

if Bob McKenzie’s right and the Sabres signed Ehrhoff for 10 years and $40 million

Holy. Crap. No thank you.

Posted by SK77 on 06/30/11 at 08:27 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Richards, White and maybe Barker.

Tick. Tock.

His comments on Jagr are fairly monotone, then five seconds later it’s animated about Lidstrom. Jagr’s not coming to the Wings.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/30/11 at 08:30 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...if Bob McKenzie’s right and the Sabres signed Ehrhoff for 10 years and $40 million…

Four years at $4M per would have been a gamble with Ehrhoff. But 10 years at that rate is just nonsense. The odds are that it’s hugely front loaded with the final two or three years at $1M or less.

The Sabres are welcome to him. And I hope he enjoys his springs off for the next 10 years.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/30/11 at 08:36 PM ET

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Listening to the Hollaand interview, I just feel better. That will all change in less than 18 hours.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 06/30/11 at 08:36 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Actually I think his agent is The *#$%@& stretching this out to get the Pens to Blink & Ray Shero doesn’t blink anymore, Reference last FA season when he traded for Hamhuis’s rights & then told him 12 Noon we are going in a different Direction & told Gonchar that too & within 3 Hours signed Michalek & Martin

Posted by Evilpens on 06/30/11 at 08:36 PM ET

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I’d be happy with White and Barker. All I ask is for ONE big, tough d-man who isn’t afraid to hit back if someone punches him directly in his face…or one of his teammates.

Oh, and Richards.

Posted by godblender on 06/30/11 at 08:37 PM ET

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Detroit won FOUR cups under Ken Holland… not three, BUT FOUR. Come on Mr Hradek… do your research!

Posted by Mattimeo on 06/30/11 at 08:45 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

He was Asst GM in 97.. he in GM for 3

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/30/11 at 08:46 PM ET

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shhhh!! You’re making me look bad! lol

Posted by Mattimeo on 06/30/11 at 08:53 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I just feel better. That will all change in less than 18 hours.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 06/30/11 at 06:36 PM ET

Spoken like a true fan.  You’re not alone.  Damn.  Tick Tock.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/30/11 at 08:54 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Stamkos for $4mil/4yr smile I know it wont happen, but heck i wonder if Kenny and Stevie tried anything?


Also another note, the backup goaltender. I keep beating this dead horse but i dont think we resign Oz(and I love the guy so it makes me feel awful to say). But i’m thinking 4 choices: Brian Boucher, Jose Theodore, Ty Conklin, Nabokov. Conklin sounds like a real solid chance, but Boucher would be a bit cheaper i’d suspect. If I truly had to pick in order it’d be: Nabby, Conker, Theo, Booch. Your thoughts?

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 06/30/11 at 08:57 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

haha, sorry Matt

NIVO, I’d love Conks back, if Jimmy goes down again he’s proven to be able to tow the line.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/30/11 at 09:01 PM ET

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“Hopefully we can find something by tomorrow, whether it’s a one-, two- or three-year deal that makes sense

Huh? Is he serious? Get it done, Shero.

I’m also on board with a Conklin reunion.

Posted by godblender on 06/30/11 at 09:08 PM ET

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Wow.  Terrible misquote in the third update from the Rossi article.  The quote about pushing the envelope is clearly talking about Tyler Kennedy, NOT Jagr, in the article.  Nice job taking something ridiculously far out of context,

Posted by Mike from Pittsburgh on 06/30/11 at 09:09 PM ET

calquake's avatar

If I truly had to pick in order it’d be: Nabby, Conker, Theo, Booch. Your thoughts?

As long as they understand they are back-ups until injury to Jimmah or they prove otherwise, I’m on board with that list.

Posted by calquake on 06/30/11 at 09:11 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Edited.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/30/11 at 09:12 PM ET

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“Petr thought the decision would be made by Wednesday; I never put a deadline on it,” Shero said. “I said that certainly us, and probably a lot of other teams, would want to know by the start of free agency – that I’d like to have an idea of what’s going on.”
...
“He could really push the envelope here if he wants, but he’s made it clear this is where he really wants to play,” Shero said. “Hopefully we can find something by tomorrow, whether it’s a one-, two- or three-year deal that makes sense. That’s what we’re trying to do now.”

Uh, yeah. During the elipsis, Shero and Rossi switched the topic to Kennedy, so the second paragraph isn’t about Jagr, even though it reads that way in the excerpt.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/30/11 at 09:15 PM ET

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Fixed, I see. Nevemind.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/30/11 at 09:15 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Posted by Jesters Dead on 06/30/11 at 06:36 PM ET

TOMAS JURCO

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/30/11 at 09:28 PM ET

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I might be wrong about this: If Nabakov were to be moved by the Isles, we would still be required to pass through waivers.

There were a lot of beers consumed between when the Isles claimed him and this morning, and I could be wrong. I vaguely remember LeBrun blogging on that matter.

Regardless, he’s been removed from the League for over a year now, and he refuses to practice with a mediocre Isles team. Is he just going gear-up in training camp like it was a Playoff hiatus? Who the F__K does he think he is, Jagr?!

Posted by Jesters Dead on 06/30/11 at 09:38 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Nabokov has agreed to play for the Islanders this fall, to report for camp and all of that. He’s going to try to be their #1 goalie and roll from there—and once he plays in the NHL during the regular season, he doesn’t have to clear waivers to be traded away, and as such, the Isles would earn a nice return for his services if he can reestablish himself and then go play for a playoff team at the deadline.

He’s not going anywhere yet.

And yeah, he’s pulled a Jagr…or vice versa wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/30/11 at 09:44 PM ET

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Yes, Monkey!

Super pumped about George’s report from TC! You heard it from Holland, though: who ever they drafted last weekend won’t be in the Show for 3-5 years.

Conklin is awesome. He reminds me of Brent Johnson - just happy to be where he’s at, and make the most of it.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 06/30/11 at 09:51 PM ET

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Excellent clarification! Thanks you, George!

Posted by Jesters Dead on 06/30/11 at 09:53 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I’d like to see Conklin back also.  According to EJ Hradek, Brian Boucher also enjoys the back up role.  I also think it’s time for Ozzie to retire - and I love the guy too.

Tick tock.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/30/11 at 10:03 PM ET

rrasco's avatar

Yes. Crunklin. Sign him.

Is it ironic that it was Conks that was in goal when Jagr netted his trick at worlds?

Posted by rrasco from TEXAS on 06/30/11 at 10:44 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.