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Thread: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

  1. #31
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Jagr won't be feeling the love from Pens fans
    By John Grupp, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Trystan Laughrey's customized black-and-yellow braces were visible as she spoke, but the Franklin Park girl wasn't smiling.

    "I'm very upset that he went to the Flyers because I hate the Flyers," the 9-year-old said. "I wanted him back here."

    Penguins fans of all ages, including the Laughreys at lunch on the North Shore on Friday, had a mix of emotions after former NHL MVP Jaromir Jagr signed with the reviled Flyers rather than return to the Penguins.

    "Good riddance," said season-ticket holder John White, 30, of the North Hills.

    Jagr's decision drew the fans' ire as much for his cross-state destination as his snubbing Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux and the team with which he won two Stanley Cup titles. Jagr, 39, signed a one-year $3.3 million deal with the Flyers; the Penguins had offered $2 million.

    "It's horrible," said Trystan's mom, Karen. "It's a stab in the back to Mario."

    Buddy Richard, 23, of Shaler admitted he wanted Jagr for the right price. But he shook his head at the news.

    "How are you gonna sign with the Flyers?" he said. "That's bad. What do you even say about that?"

    Not everyone held a grudge, including Ed Sanders, 42, of East Liberty, wearing a Pirates hat outside PNC Park.

    "I would like him to be here, but that's his decision," he said. "I can't judge that. Only he can do that."

    Fans railed against Jagr's untimely negotiating tactics he originally was going to decide Wednesday and the fact he shrugged off a chance to return to Pittsburgh and repair his tainted legacy.

    "I'm glad the Flyers got him," said Joe Lang, 52, of Green Tree. "It will hurt Philly in the long-term."

    Rick Michak, 49, of the South Hills was hopeful for Jagr's return. He believed the Czech native was unjustly criticized for leaving Pittsburgh for the rival Capitals after the 2000-01 season. Now, Jagr's fate is sealed.

    "He will be hated when he comes back," Michak said. "If he would have gone to Detroit or Montreal, it wouldn't have been as bad. But the Flyers makes it even worse."

    Sounding off

    Penguins and Flyers fans took to online message boards to weigh in on Jaromir Jagr's and Max Talbot's decisions to spurn Pittsburgh and sign with Philadelphia.

    A sampling from Penguins message boards, including from www.pittsburghpenguins.com:

    How can you slap the Penguins organization in the face? We wanted you back and you turn your back on us. ... All for an extra $1.3 million? Wow! Czack

    Pens just released the promotional schedule. Dec. 29th against the Flyers is Battery Night. Badger_Bob

    I think that I shall burn my Talbot jersey and change my username now. MaxTalbot25

    We now know that the price of Jagr's soul is exactly $1.3 million. Eightandahalf

    All that talk of how great full (sic) he was to Pens and Mario and how he could never repay them for all the did for him and his career. was nothing more then (sic) lip service. wsopstud

    I needed this. Over the past couple of years, I found myself hating Washington more than the Flyers. This reminds me that the Flyers have always been and are still enemy #1. dpk120

    Today has been the strangest first day of free agency in a LONG time for the Pens. pittsports87

    What happened to all that "My heart is in Pittsburgh" and "I'd play for the league minimum in Pittsburgh" stuff? I guess things never really change. Delta Agent

    Not only do I not retire his number...I mandate that our 13th forward be forced to wear that number until it's trivialized to the point that (it) is barely remembered. tonysoprano

    A sampling from Flyers message boards, including from www.philadelphiaflyers.com:

    Horrible move by Flyers. Jagr is worthless and should never be allowed to touch the orange and black... Crossefire 01

    Signing Jagr is just a gimmick to get fans to fill the seats ... 39 and no wheels! Booooooooooooooooo. The Philly Shadow

    Jagr is still awesome! Haters will eat their words once they see him kill it. Lookyhere

    Goes to show that it WAS all about the money. What ARE they thinking in the organization? Philly PHAilure

    YUCK. Jagr for 3.3 Million? He has been out the NHL for 3 years. He is pushing 40. This won't turn out well. Ferrell31

    Keep hating Pitt fans. Bitterness is an ugly emotion. DigitalTD

    Max Talbot? Who????? 8 goals and 13 assists last year? Please tell me he only played one quarter of the season. aNutterInDgutter

    What an embarrassment to our organization!!! I think I'm gonna be SICK!!!!! Blakk73

    5 years for a 3rd or 4th line player is insane. The money's OK but the term is too long. Kopykat
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_744945.html

  2. #32
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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Jagr signing reignites Pens-Flyers rivalry
    By Rob Rossi, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    One wrong was actually righted by Jaromir Jagr on Friday.

    By signing a one-year contract worth $3.3 million with Philadelphia, Jagr officially restored the Penguins-Flyers rivalry to where Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik has said it has always belonged.

    "If you ask anybody in this room about our biggest rival, it's the Flyers," Orpik said last season when the Penguins and Washington Capitals were being followed by HBO's cameras for a documentary series.

    "It's always the Flyers."

    Jagr's return to Pittsburgh the place his agent said Thursday "is in his heart" will happen next season.

    Dec. 29, Consol Energy Center, Penguins vs. Flyers ...

    "It's going to be ... I don't know, something I've never witnessed when it comes to anticipation," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Friday. "And it's going to be definitely unique, and I think our fans will be at a level I've never seen them at for a regular-season game."

    Jagr, 39, had told Penguins majority co-owner Mario Lemieux he wanted to play for the Penguins, with whom he won the Stanley Cup twice and five scoring titles from 1990-2001. Jagr said the same thing Tuesday to Penguins general manager Ray Shero, who in turn offered him a one-year contract worth $2 million.

    Jagr hadn't accepted or declined it by Wednesday, as his agent had promised Shero, who also received no decision from Jagr's camp Thursday.

    Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, was contacted by the Flyers on Thursday night, according to Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren, who said "it started innocently ... with a text message."

    It ended Friday the first day of NHL free agency with Penguins fans loathing Jagr more than they ever had during the past decade following his disheartening requested trade to the Capitals 10 years ago this month.

    Shero rescinded the Penguins' offer after Jagr failed to meet an 11 a.m. deadline.

    Jagr had said he wanted to make amends with the Penguins, their city and most especially Lemieux.

    "To come back to Pittsburgh seemed like a tap-in," Shero said. "But I respect his decision."

    On any other day the big disappointment for Penguins fans would have been 2009 Stanley Cup hero Max Talbot signing with the Flyers, which he did for five years and $9 million.

    However, Shero conceded that Talbot "got a lot more" from the Flyers than the Penguins had offered on a three-year proposal. Shero said he spoke with Talbot, who famously shushed Flyers fans as the Penguins closed out Game 6 of a first-round playoff series at Philadelphia on their 2009 Cup run.

    "Totally different situation (than Jagr)," Shero said. "Max will always be a part of history here. I'm really happy for him."

    Shero seemed comfortable losing forward Mike Rupp, too. Rupp signed a three-year deal worth $4.5 million with the New York Rangers.

    "He gave us a chance," Shero said of Rupp, who spent the past two seasons with the Penguins. "I just had a feeling it wasn't going to work out."

    Shero had that feeling about Jagr on Wednesday night when Svoboda didn't have an answer at the deadline he had proposed.

    By Thursday night, Shero conceded, "it didn't feel right."

    Jagr never asked for more money, Shero said.

    "He just went somewhere else," he said.

    Just somewhere?

    "Uh, no," Bylsma said.

    Bylsma confident Pens remain among elite

    Penguins coach Dan Bylsma doesn't deny that the prospect of working with Jaromir Jagr was intriguing. However, Jagr is a Philadelphia Flyer now as is Max Talbot and Bylsma on Friday offered thoughts about players who will be Penguins next season during an interview with the Tribune-Review:

    On James Neal:

    "He's a 25-30 goal scorer, I know that. He didn't score like that when we got him last season, granted. But if you looked at our team at this time last year and said, 'They got James Neal,' you would say, 'Now, that's something they needed, that kind of player.' I've watched every goal he has scored in the NHL, and he has lost a little shine because he didn't score a lot for us, but he's still that guy who scored those goals. ... I see Neal playing like the wingers that Sidney (Crosby) likes to play. He plays with speed, likes to create pressure and is a straight-line player. That's why Sid likes (Chris) Kunitz, why he liked Colby Armstrong. Those players allow Sidney to pick up loose pucks and anticipate where other players are. James Neal is a Sidney Crosby kind-of player, like Kunitz. So Sidney has two of those guys he likes to play with. I'll take that with a healthy Sidney Crosby."

    On a return of the "Big Three" centers:

    "The one thing I hear get bounced around when I talk to other coaches at the draft is, 'Well, I don't have Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin.' I may take offense to that personally, but that is the view of other teams in this league. I say, 'Throw Jordan (Staal) in there, too,' and I'm getting all three of those guys, hopefully healthy, for the first time in a couple of years. So when I hear that from other coaches, what they're telling me is, when you play my team, you feel like you're going up against a wall.

    "Here is what those three do that we missed the last two playoff series we lost and all of last season because they weren't in the lineup together other than (two) games: 1) We're never chasing a bad matchup, and 2) we're never in a bad matchup defensively.

    "There are certain things that win hockey games, and to have those three, our defense and our goaltending those last two things being our strength last season well, other teams will look at that and say, 'Wow!'"

    On prospects' potential impact:

    "We all feel like (Dustin) Jeffrey took a step last season before he got hurt, and he can be a half-wall or point-man on a second power-play unit. More than ever these young guys Jeffrey, Nick Johnson and don't forget Joe Vitale are going to compete to make our team. ... I do like that competition factor and a little bit of turnover, bringing in younger players and saying, 'Hey, Nick and Joe, you've got a chance to make our team, no promises, but go get that spot.' And what I like about our veterans is that they know these players will come up and play in the right spots on the team, not just be thrown in there."
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...rce=rss&feed=8

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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Jagr's baggage wasn't worth Penguins' risk
    Saturday, July 02, 2011
    By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    One day, Penguins general manager Ray Shero will thank Jaromir Jagr. Not today or next week, maybe. The wounds and anger from being used and abused by Jagr, who signed Friday with the hated Philadelphia Flyers, still are too fresh. But sometime next season. The Penguins will be competing for the Stanley Cup and an immature, erratic Jagr will be pulling his usual Operation Shutdown routine with the Flyers. You bet Shero will thank Jagr for not coming back to Pittsburgh. Let him be the Flyers' problem. They deserve each other.

    I didn't understand the Penguins' interest in Jagr in the first place. Approaching 40, not having played in the NHL in three seasons and needing U-Haul's biggest truck to bring all of his baggage, he just wasn't worth the risk. If you've been paying attention the past week, you saw his character. His agent, Petr Svoboda, kept telling everyone how much Jagr loved Pittsburgh, how doing a deal wasn't about the money, how he wanted to be reunited again with his hero, Mario Lemieux.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    When the Penguins got tired of waiting for Jagr and pulled their one-year, $2 million offer Friday morning, he signed with the Flyers shortly after noon. It turns out it really was about the money; the Flyers' deal is for $3.3 million. Nice. That should make for some warm reception for Jagr when the Flyers come to Consol Energy Center Dec. 29 for the first of three times next season. Max Talbot, who also signed Friday with the Flyers, will be cheered. He was nothing but class with the Penguins -- not to mention a Stanley Cup hero -- and left with class even if it was to go to Philadelphia. But Jagr? You know what they say. Once a jerk ...

    Really, it's just as well it didn't work out for Jagr here. I couldn't see how he was going to fit in with the Penguins. I doubt there was room for his sizable ego in their locker room.

    You don't have to spend much time around the Penguins to know they have something special going. You saw that on HBO's "24/7" series last season. It starts with owners Ron Burkle and Lemieux and works down through president David Morehouse, Shero and coach Dan Bylsma. They create an atmosphere that makes players want to play and stay with the team even if it means taking less money. It happened again this week when unrestricted free agents Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy re-upped with two-year deals.

    Chances seem pretty high that Jagr's presence would have damaged the karma. When he was with the Penguins the first time -- granted, a lifetime ago -- he sulked when things didn't go his way. It was so bad at the end that he repeatedly begged Lemieux and then-general manager Craig Patrick to trade him and put him out of his misery. He was a real baby. That's the last thing the team needs now.

    I hear people say the Penguins' desperate need for offense made it imperative to sign Jagr. They point to the playoff series recently against the Tampa Bay Lightning when the team went 1 for 35 on the power play. They point to the 1-0 loss in Game 7. It's as if they've forgotten that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin missed that series with injuries. I know the power play has struggled with the two stars at times, but I would bet it would have scored more than one power-play goal against the Lightning if they were healthy. Many more, actually.

    As for the desperate need for scoring wingers, I'm not buying it. Crosby was having a career year last season playing with Chris Kunitz and Dupuis before he was hurt. It's also as if people have forgotten that Shero traded a good player -- power-play specialist/defenseman Alex Goligoski -- at the trade deadline last season to bring in scoring winger James Neal. I know, Neal struggled, getting one goal in 20 games before getting just one more in the playoffs, although that one won Game 4 against the Lightning in double overtime. Let's see what he can do playing with Crosby or Malkin. He's 23. He scored 24 goals with the Dallas Stars in 2008-09, 27 goals in 2009-10 and 21 in 59 games last season before the trade. If he doesn't score at least 25 goals this season, Shero will be disappointed. So will I.

    Maybe Jagr would have provided another 25 goals, his total in his most recent NHL season, 2007-08, with the New York Rangers. Maybe he would have pushed up the power play's conversion rate to the 20- or 22-percent range. Maybe he would have withstood the grind of the long NHL season and been able to play 70 games for the Penguins. Maybe he would have been the perfect teammate.

    Or maybe not.

    I want to believe a guy can go home again and be successful, but I just didn't see it in this case.

    Jagr did the Penguins a favor by picking the Flyers.

    They are better off without him.
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11183/1157785-87-0.stm

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    Re: Jagr's agent having talks with Penguins

    Jaromir Jagr: Spurned cash for Flyers

    Associated Press
    Updated: July 2, 2011


    PHILADELPHIA -- Jaromir Jagr had a message to Pittsburgh Penguins fans disappointed he spurned his former club in his return to the NHL: No hard feelings.

    The 1999 league MVP just felt more at ease after listening to a pitch to join the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Jaromir Jagr's behavior, and the behavior of his agent over the past few days, merely reinforces Jagr does what Jagr wants, not necessarily what he says -- no matter the cost to whatever remains of his reputation in the NHL, writes Scott Burnside. Blog

    Jagr said on Saturday he rejected more lucrative offers to make his NHL comeback and decided to play on the other end of Pennsylvania because he liked what the Flyers are "trying to do" to win a Stanley Cup.

    Jagr's acquisition is a big part of the Flyers' offseason overhaul that has seen them jettison key cogs Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Ville Leino and Brian Boucher, among others.

    The 39-year-old Jagr spent the past three seasons playing in Russia. This week he mulled a one-year offer to rejoin the Penguins, his original team, before deciding to play for the Flyers.

    The Flyers deal is worth $3.3 million. Jagr didn't name the teams he said offered more money.

    Jagr was a Pittsburgh draft pick in 1990 and helped lead the Penguins to two Stanley Cup championships.

    He won those titles alongside Mario Lemieux, now the Penguins' owner. Pittsburgh hoped he would accept the offer, play at least one season and then retire with the Penguins.

    Jagr said he had only one brief conversation with Lemieux and never led the Penguins to believe he'd return.

    "The Penguins seem like I did something wrong or something bad, and I don't think I did something bad," Jagr said. "If they feel like that, I cannot change their minds. I was a free agent, and I had my chance to pick wherever I think is best for me."

    That pick came Friday when he chose the Flyers. Jagr said he had an opportunity to play more with the Flyers and likes the bold moves general manager Paul Holmgren made the last 10 days. Jagr says the addition of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was a reason for his signing. The Flyers also acquiesced with his wish for a one-year deal.

    "I think it's better for the team, because you don't know how things are going to go," he said. "You might think it's going to be good, you might hope it's going to be good, but there's no guarantees. And if something goes wrong, why have two years?"

    Jagr will be looked upon to provide some of that scoring punch. He has 646 NHL goals, and when he slips on that orange-and-black uniform for the first time, he will be the league's active scoring leader with 1,599 points.

    A Czech native, Jagr won an Olympic gold medal in 1998 and a bronze in 2006. He also won hockey world championships in 2005 and 2010.

    The Flyers hope Jagr hasn't lost it and can still hold up to the grueling 82-game schedule, plus the postseason. Jagr said he was in no position to judge if he's lost a step on his skates.

    "You'd have to ask somebody else who saw me years ago and then saw me last month. I don't know," he said. "We'll have to wait and see."

    The Flyers, who lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 Stanley Cup finals in six games, finished with 106 points last season and won the Atlantic Division title on a tiebreaker ahead of the Penguins. Philadelphia outlasted the Buffalo Sabres in seven games in the first round but was swept out of the postseason in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

    Jagr talked to members of the coaching staff and defenseman Chris Pronger before making his decision.

    Jagr is not worried about the expectations that will be lumped on him. He could have eased into the lineup had the Flyers held on to Richards and Carter. But if they were here, Jagr might be in Pittsburgh or Detroit.

    "I know it's going to be tough for the fans because the GM traded two very good players, and it's not easy for the fans to see it, but I think it would be a lot easier for me to come in if the team stayed the way it was before," he said. "But you never know."

    The Flyers can't wait to find out.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=6733475

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