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Thread: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

  1. #21
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    No official word on Jagr's status with Pens
    By Rob Rossi and Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, June 30, 2011
    Last updated: 9:07 am

    The Penguins had not heard back from Jaromir Jagr as of late Wednesday, according to general manager Ray Shero.

    But longtime acquaintances of team co-owner Mario Lemieux and NHL agents told the Tribune-Review an agreement was in place even as Jagr flew from the Czech Republic to the United States.

    There was no confirmation of an agreement from the Penguins, Jagr or Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda.

    The Penguins offered Jagr a one-year deal worth about $2 million, sources said Tuesday. Shero said he wanted to know from Jagr by yesterday if Jagr would accept an offer to play with the team.

    The Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens have also made offers for Jagr, who Svoboda said wants to play in the NHL at least one more season after spending three years in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

    Svoboda said he expected a decision from Jagr when Jagr was scheduled to arrive in New York around 4 p.m. Svoboda said around 5:30 p.m. that Jagr's plane had not landed. Svoboda did not return messages after 6 p.m.

    It was unclear where Jagr was staying Wednesday night.

    Dozens of Penguins fans gathered at Pittsburgh International Airport Wednesday night in anticipation of Jagr's possible arrival. None of the fans said they had seen Jagr.

    The Penguins are hoping to bring Jagr to Pittsburgh, where he spent his first 11 NHL seasons from 1990-2001 — a span in which he helped the club win the Stanley Cup twice and personally claimed an MVP and five scoring titles.

    "He was an icon in Pittsburgh," Shero said Tuesday. "We would like to see him finish his career here."

    Jagr spoke with Shero on Monday and last week with former teammates and Lemieux.

    Like Lemieux, Jagr is a top-10 NHL scorer all time. They combined to win 11 of the 13 scoring titles claimed by a Penguin.

    Of course, that dominant Jagr from his famous mullet days is not the player the Penguins anticipate getting because of his age — though, as Penguins coach Dan Bylsma pointed out last week, Jagr produced 71 points in 81 games with the Rangers during his final NHL season.

    Bylsma said he was "intrigued" by possibly adding Jagr to a roster that already will be bolstered by the return of superstar centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, neither of whom played most of the second half and in the playoffs this past season because of injuries.

    With Jagr, Malkin and Crosby, the Penguins would employ three players that have combined for seven scoring titles, two MVPs and a playoff MVP. The trio has combined for 11 100-point seasons.

    The Penguins had about $6 million to spend under the NHL's salary cap as of Thursday because they prefer to keep around $1.5 million available for in-season moves.

    On Tuesday they re-signed right wing Pascal Dupuis, one of several players who were set to become an unrestricted free agent Friday.

    Others that can go that route are wingers Tyler Kennedy, Max Talbot and Mike Rupp. Arron Asham signed a one-year deal worth $775,000 late last night to remain with the Penguins.

    Shero has been engaged in talks with agents for Kennedy and Rupp, but Talbot, who scored the only two goals in a Game 7 win at Detroit in the 2009 Cup Final, will not be re-signed before Friday.

    Shero hopes to re-sign Kennedy to a multiyear deal and ink Rupp before Friday, when a reportedly weak crop of free agents will command high prices because many NHL teams must increase payroll to hit the salary floor.
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_744594.html


    1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
    5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
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  2. #22
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Ex-Pens say Jagr would fit well in Pittsburgh
    By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Jaromir Jagr would fit in just as well with the current Penguins as he did with the players two decades ago, according to those who would know that best.

    Members of the franchise's Stanley Cup champions in 1991-92, several of whom participated in team owner Mario Lemieux's celebrity golf outing Wednesday at Nemacolin, expressed optimism the team and player would make the right move if they reunited when NHL free agency opens Friday.

    "Jaromir coming back is a tremendous thing for the city and for Jaromir himself," said former forward and NHL head coach Rick Tocchet. "A player that great should finish his career in the NHL. And to do it here makes more sense than anything."

    "It's pretty phenomenal," said former forward and current Root Sports analyst Jay Caufield. "Jaromir's going to have one last shot at a Cup, and he's going to do it with this great group of players. It's a tremendous story."

    How such a story would unfold depends on whether Jagr assimilates.

    The majority opinion was that Jagr would work well on a second line to the right of center Evgeni Malkin. That, in their minds, would keep Sidney Crosby on the top line with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis or James Neal.

    "We haven't had much creativity on the wings," said former forward and current Root Sports commentator Bob Errey. "Jaromir doesn't play in a straight line, but that's OK. We need that diversity. Geno needs that. He needs that guy who can protect the puck, pull up and hit him down the middle."

    "More than anything, I like the idea of Geno and Jaromir together," Caufield said.

    Caufield added defenseman Kris Letang into the equation.

    "Jaromir pulling up like he does, he's always great at hitting that trailer," Caufield said. "I think Letang will flourish."

    None had serious doubts about Jagr's ability to keep pace with coach Dan Bylsma's speed-based system, even though he will turn 40 in February.

    "There are a lot of defensive responsibilities in Dan's system, but I think he can make adjustments, including who Jaromir plays with," said former forward and current youth coach Troy Loney.

    "He still has a quick step," Tocchet said. "He doesn't have the explosive speed he once had, but he still has the attributes to play a north-south game. That was Alexei Kovalev's problem. He couldn't do that."

    Errey mentioned that a Malkin-Jagr line could operate with a different system.

    "You see that a lot in hockey, and I think we could benefit from a little east-west," Errey said. "It keeps teams from getting too comfortable in how they defend you."

    Off the ice, these former Penguins saw both sides of Jagr, from the gregarious overgrown child to the broody, pouting version. Here, too, no serious doubts were raised.

    "Jaromir's going to have a supporting role, not a leading role," Loney said. "But we've seen him do well with that in the past under Mario."

    "He has to have grown up," Errey said. "And, hey, this is someone who had all kinds of money and fame thrown at him at a very young age. There's only one Sid who can handle that without it changing him."

    Speaking of Crosby ...

    "It's Sid's team, and it's Sid's locker room," Caufield said. "In Mario's conversations with Jaromir, I'm sure he made that clear. Mario can oversee that, make sure things stay the way they should. And Jaromir's going to have to prove himself. It's a good locker room, and he's going to have to earn it."
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_744592.html


    1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
    5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
    6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
    6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
    7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware

  3. #23
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Starkey: Possible Jagr sequel already compelling
    By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, June 30, 2011
    Last updated: 8:54 am

    What is Jaromir Jagr waiting for, a sit-down chat with Jim Gray on ESPN?

    The Decision was supposed to go down Wednesday but never did. If Jagr says anything but "Penguins" today, Friday, or whenever he makes up his mind, he will be skewered for centuries to come.

    In the meantime, the possible Jagr sequel — "From Russia With Gloves" — has promise. I'm thinking along the lines of "The Godfather Part II" or maybe "Escape From The Planet of the Apes." Quite enjoyable, even if they weren't as good as the originals.

    But you have to admit, especially in the wake of The Indecision, that there's a chance this turns into "Caddyshack II," or, God forbid, "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls."

    Look, I'm on board with the Jagr idea. I called for it in early May, when all Jagr had from the Penguins was an invitation to their alumni golf tournament. But let's not pretend it's a two-foot gimme.

    Bad memories are surfacing ...

    I remember Jagr refusing to take the ice late in the third period during the Ivan Hlinka era ... Jagr demanding a trade ... Wait, what's this? Jagr handing me a framed photo of himself and asking me to pray to it (actually happened). There are more. Many more.

    Let's just say I'm still on board but with trepidation. I am of two minds. Which is fitting, as Jagr was not only of multiple minds but multiple personalities during much of his time here.

    Let's put my warring sides in the faceoff circle and see who wins.

    SKEPTICAL MIND: Jagr's a new man, eh? Is that what you're peddling? With apologies to John McEnroe, you cannot be serious. Leopards don't change stripes, buddy. "Yags" was a brooding, finicky brat at 30. Think he's enlightened at 40? He won't be asking for different skates every five seconds, sulking when he goes 12 games without a goal or dragging himself to the bench after a bad shift? He's going to be a leader? Wow. You'll believe anything.

    TRUSTING MIND: Oh, you negative media types. First of all, people do change. The same Mario Lemieux who was allergic to exercise when he arrived in Pittsburgh was a workout freak in his second incarnation. Randy Moss didn't make a peep for three years in New England.

    Secondly, Jagr does best when he isn't the leader — and nobody wants him to be the Dalai Lama, anyway. The Penguins don't need a higher power. They need a better power play. Put Jagr on the right half-boards. And know that underneath the massive array of defense mechanisms, he always cared about his legacy here. He wants to make right with Mario. He will be supremely motivated. You watch.

    SKEPTIC: Grab the Kleenex and cue the violins, you delusional moron. You speak of Jagr's New York years as if he were Mark Messier. Did you know that as recently as 2007 he begged out of shootouts? Would Messier have done that? You also failed to mention that he napalmed the Capitals' dressing room when he was there.

    He couldn't even score 20 goals in the KHL, by the way, so what makes you think he'll score 30 in the NHL? You're buying into the fairy tale and ignoring reality. This would end badly, perhaps before Christmas. Repeat after me: The Penguins wouldn't be getting the Jagr of '98.

    BELIEVER: Nor would they expect the Jagr of '98. His game never was dependent on speed. He uses that monster frame to control the puck down low. He can still fire it, too. The vision and hands remain.

    Did you see that hat trick against the U.S. in the World Championships? Did you see what U.S. captain Mark Stuart said of Jagr? "He's still got it."

    Of course he does. And for whatever issues he might have, Jagr is no dummy. I remember Kevin Constantine telling me that even when it looked as if Jagr were in la-la land during meetings, he'd have clearer recall than any of his teammates.

    Jagr knows what would be at stake here — his Pittsburgh legacy. He wouldn't blow that.

    If he ever makes up his mind, that is.
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_744570.html


    1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
    5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
    6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
    6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
    7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware

  4. #24
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    If the Pens are able to land Jagr and re-sign Tyler Kennedy before the start of free agency tomorrow, here are some of the potential line pairings (assuming that Max Talbot, Mike Rupp, and Eric Godard move on elsewhere once they are exposed to the open market).

    Neal-Crosby-Kunitz (Crosby's got his two wingers from the Whitney and Goligoski trades)
    Dupuis-Malkin-Jagr (Jagr's age and offensive-mindedness balanced by Dupuis's speed and defensive-mindedness)
    Cooke-Staal-Kennedy (best third line in hockey. Still together after all these years.)
    Asham-Adams-Letestu (the fourth line is for gritty vets and hungry youngsters)

    We'd also have Dustin Jeffrey and Eric Tangradi to fill in holes here and there.

    Orpik-Letang (our top pairing has the perfect pair of intimidation via both bodychecks as well as goals)
    Martin-Michalek (our top two free agent signings last year turned our defensive corp into an unquestioned strength)
    Lovejoy-Niskanen (the top two pairings are set...coaches can decide which youngsters gets 3rd pair skates based on merit like Tomlin did with Sanders and Brown last year)

    We'd also have Deryk Engelland and Simon Depres to fill in holes here and there.


    1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
    5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
    6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
    6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
    7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware

  5. #25
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Updated: July 1, 2011

    Agent: Jaromir Jagr's suitors increasing

    By Scott Burnside
    ESPN.com


    The dog-and-pony show that is the Jaromir Jagr contract chase rolled on through Thursday evening with no resolution in sight.

    Jagr's agent Petr Svoboda told ESPN.com Thursday night the field of teams for whom Jagr is considering playing for is actually growing instead of shrinking.

    It was believed Pittsburgh, Detroit and Montreal were the three teams the five-time scoring champ was considering in a return to the NHL after playing the last three years in the Kontinental Hockey League.

    Apparently not.

    "There's a lot more teams now we're talking to," Svoboda told ESPN.com Thursday evening.

    As for getting a deal done by the time the free agency period opens at noon ET Friday, that plan appears to have gone by the boards as well.

    Jagr, 39, will make a decision "in the next few days," Svoboda said.

    "I'm not going to put a time frame on it," he added. "Basically we have nothing new and I can't tell you anything,"

    This will come as disappointing news to the Penguins who had been told by Svoboda that Jagr is interested in returning to Pittsburgh where he won two Stanley Cups in the early 1990s.

    It's believed the Penguins have offered a one-year deal worth about $2 million.

    Jagr had said in the past his desire to return to Pittsburgh -- if he returned to the NHL -- was so strong that money wouldn't be a factor.

    The Red Wings remain interested as well although they had no new information to report Thursday evening about whether they were being considered by Jagr.

    Whether Jagr's inability to make a timely decision has an effect on teams' interest as they allocate free agent money starting Friday afternoon remains to be seen.

    Svoboda, who was in Montreal, said Jagr is in New York as the process continues.

    Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=6725916

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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Jagr's agent says vet's 'heart is in Pittsburgh'
    By Rob Rossi, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Jaromir Jagr's agent said Thursday that Jagr's "heart is in Pittsburgh." Penguins general manager Ray Shero is banking on it.

    "I'm hoping Jagr meant what he said by wanting to do right by Mario," Shero said, referring to team co-owner Mario Lemieux.

    NHL free agency opens at noon Friday, and where Jagr will play next season finally should be answered.

    Shero spoke with Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, Thursday afternoon. Despite expecting a decision Wednesday, Shero again was not told whether Jagr would accept the Penguins' one-year, about $2 million offer.

    But neither were the Penguins ruled out.

    "Petr said we're very much in the mix," Shero said.

    Lemieux has spoken with Jagr, his former Penguins teammate, and asked him to finish his glorious NHL career where it started in 1990.

    Jagr's best chance is to accept the Penguins' offer before noon Friday, though Shero said he would not pull the offer he made Tuesday.

    Shero, who apparently is making progress on a deal for right winger Tyler Kennedy, said he doesn't "have a feel" for what will happen with Jagr or Kennedy.

    "I know what my backup plan is if one or both of them doesn't come," he said. "That might be not to do anything at the start of free agency."

    The Penguins are committed to about $57.8 million against the NHL's $64.4 million salary cap for next season. Shero prefers to keep about $1.5 million free for in-season roster moves.

    Jagr, 39, also has one-year offers from Detroit and Montreal. All of the offers are for about $2 million. Reports surfaced late yesterday that the Philadelphia Flyers also were interested in Jagr, although no offer apparently had been made. Svoboda, though, also did not rule out that Jagr would play next season in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, where he spent the past three years.

    "It's a tough decision for Jaromir," Svoboda said. "His heart is in Pittsburgh."

    Jagr could not be reached for comment, but he has hailed Lemieux as his idol and mentor during their days as teammates in the 1990s. In 2008, he told The Hockey News that he "owed his hockey life" to Lemieux and that he would play again with the Penguins "for the league minimum."

    Far from the minimum, Shero said he has made Jagr, the NHL's ninth all-time scorer, a "competitive offer."

    That offer won't change, Shero said. He added that the Wednesday deadline for a decision from Jagr came from Svoboda, not the Penguins.

    "He isn't holding us hostage or anything," Shero said of Jagr. "I never put a deadline on it. I said that we —and probably a lot of other teams — would want to know by the start of free agency."

    Svoboda said Jagr arrived in New York from the Czech Republic late Wednesday night. He believed Jagr would reach a decision last night and inform teams today.

    "Petr doesn't want to force him into a decision," Shero said.

    In anticipation of a Jagr signing, the Penguins have constructed web pages with tributes to his career, complete with video montages and Jagr-related items.

    However, late last night Svoboda told ESPN.com that a Jagr decision might not come for a couple of days.

    If Pittsburgh is in Jagr's heart, Montreal is likely on his mind as the wild-card candidate. The Canadiens have the salary-cap space to increase their offer to Jagr and still pursue another top forward in what is considered a weak free-agent class. Also in possible favor of the Canadiens:

    >> They are specifically in the market for a top-six right winger, Jagr's position.

    >> Center Tomas Plekanec has been mentored by Jagr. They have been teammates for the Czech Republic during international competitions and share the same hometown, Kladno.

    Still, belief around the hockey world — including among NHL agents and longtime acquaintances of Lemieux — is that Jagr will play for the Penguins next season and secure his legacy with the franchise and the city in which he still owns a home.
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...rce=rss&feed=8


    1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
    5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
    6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
    6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
    7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware

  7. #27
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Penguins Withdraw Offer to Jagr
    Friday, 07.01.2011 / 11:35 AM

    The Pittsburgh Penguins withdrew their one-year, $2 million contract offer to free agent Jaromir Jagr Friday morning.

    "We made what we thought was a very fair contract offer to Jaromir on Tuesday, based on his stated interest of returning to the Penguins," said Ray Shero, the team's executive vice president and general manager. "We made our best offer from the start, given our salary cap structure, in an attempt to facilitate a deal. But now, after several days, with an extended time frame for making a decision, and additional teams getting involved, we have decided to move in a different direction. It was never our intention to get involved in a free agent bidding war, and we have to focus on our team.

    "Jaromir is one of the greatest players in Penguins history, and we wish him all the best."
    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=567951


    1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
    5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
    6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
    6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
    7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware

  8. #28
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Well efff him and his mullet for jerking everyone around for 3 days.

  9. #29
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Jaromir Jagr would look great on a line with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Oh wait...

    Jaromir Jagr returning to NHL with Flyers
    Friday, 07.01.2011 / 1:32 PM
    By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

    The Philadelphia Flyers have signed Jaromir Jagr, the club announced via their official Twitter feed at 1:20 p.m. ET Friday. TSN reports it is a one-year contract worth $3.3 million.

    Jagr hasn't played in the NHL since the 2007-08 season with the New York Rangers. He played the last three seasons in the KHL.

    Jagr was reportedly being wooed by several teams, but both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings pulled their one-year contract offers off the table Friday morning, opening the door for Jagr to sign with the Flyers.

    The 39-year-old Jagr is ninth all-time in the NHL in scoring with 1,599 points, just 42 behind Joe Sakic. He has played in 1,273 NHL games over 17 seasons, including the first 11 in Pittsburgh, where he won the Stanley Cup twice, the Hart Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy five times and the Lester B. Pearson Award four times.

    He was also a finalist for the Hart Trophy five times, including in 2006 with the Rangers. The last time Jagr played in North America was at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where he was the flag bear for the Czech Republic. He won gold at the 1998 Olympics and bronze at the 2006 Games.
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=5...d-rr-headlines


    1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
    5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
    6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
    6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
    7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware

  10. #30
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Kovacevic: Jagr's greed wins out again
    By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    The Flyers?

    Really?

    It's as if Jaromir Jagr woke up Friday morning after dreaming of fans welcoming him at Pittsburgh International, of donning a Penguins sweater again, of reuniting with Mario Lemieux, of being handed the Stanley Cup by Sidney Crosby, of watching his No. 68 raised to the rafters ... and then thought, "Hmmm ... how can I really stick it to those people?"

    I realize, though, that this isn't at all what happened.

    Rather, it's always about the money with Jagr. Once a mercenary, always a mercenary.

    When Jagr accepted a one-year, $3.3 million offer from Philadelphia, he spurned not only the Penguins — who offered $2 million — but also the Detroit Red Wings, another perennial contender, and the Montreal Canadiens, where his Czech friend Tomas Plekanec plays. So you know this much for sure: Jagr's decision had nothing to do with winning, a coach's system, a comfort level and certainly not legacy. The Flyers simply swooped in Thursday and tossed more cash on the table.

    This wasn't about greener pastures. It was about going for the green.

    Jagr genuinely has grown up in some ways at age 39. I've seen it myself, on and off the ice. But he evidently never passed the point where he bases all his decisions on money. Sure, he could have stayed in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League and been paid even more, around $4 million, and it would have been tax-free to help cover those Siberian heating bills. I'm sure that's going to be part of his defense.

    But that doesn't change this about Jagr's choice of NHL teams: By the end of next season, he will have made roughly $101 million in his career, not counting endorsements and other earnings. The difference between the Flyers' and Penguins' offers was $1.3 million. That's a ton of money to most of us, but it's roughly 1 percent of everything Jagr has made. It's a penny on his dollar.

    Small wonder the Penguins were furious, even before learning Jagr chose Philadelphia.

    Lemieux and a handful of his closest acquaintances had been guardedly optimistic through Tuesday, according to multiple sources. Some went so far as to express that an agreement or understanding was in place. All that soured Wednesday, especially into the night, when the Penguins heard of Jagr's lingering flirtations with Detroit and Montreal.

    General manager Ray Shero, who essentially emptied the team's pockets to ensure Jagr would get a respectable offer, was said to be livid.

    "It didn't really feel right," Shero said of that stage.

    On the Penguins' level, this was outright betrayal. It would have been one thing for Jagr to enter free agency and acknowledge that the best fit or highest bidder would win. It's quite another to tell Lemieux directly that he wants to return to play out of respect for him. And it was worse still that agent Petr Svoboda had the nerve to say that Jagr's "heart is in Pittsburgh" as recently as Thursday. Even while Jagr and Svoboda — and believe me, Jagr always calls his own shots — were finagling with the Flyers.

    That's unconscionable.

    As for the Penguins' fans, suffice it to say they had a small taste of how Cleveland felt after LeBron James' epic blowoff.

    It's not the same scope, of course. James is the NBA's dominant talent, born and raised in Akron. But I would rank this Jagr snub as more insulting than, say, Marian Hossa's leap to the Red Wings in 2008. Hossa left after a couple months because he thought he had a better chance to win. That is hardly some moral crime, even if Hossa's prediction proved painfully wrong.

    What Jagr did was different: Our city has 446 bridges, and one of its greatest athletes just burned them all.

    Sure, we forgave Terry Bradshaw's foibles, and we stopped tossing batteries at Dave Parker. But those two and others eventually came back and made things right. I don't see that happening with Jagr. I don't see the circumstance in which that No. 68 ever gets raised.

    No, the only numbers of consequence regarding Jagr in these parts will be 12-29. That's the date the Flyers make their first trip into town next season, and it could be quite the scene.

    Unless someone offers Jagr a couple more bucks to be outside hawking T-shirts.
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_744984.html


    1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
    5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
    6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
    6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
    7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware

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