Puck Daddy - NHL

Jaromir Jagr reaches out to Penguins, speaks with Red Wings coach

In May, Jaromir Jagr's agent said there were only discussions with KHL teams regarding the 39-year-old star's next contract. One month later, Jagr has reached out to the Pittsburgh Penguins about returning to the team that drafted him in 1990, according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

From Rossi:

The approach came from Jagr's camp, who has also talked to with several teams including the Red Wings, Canadiens and possibly the Rangers. As of 3:30 p.m. on Monday, the Red Wings and Penguins were Jagr's preferred choices.

I cannot confirm the Penguins have interest, only that they did listen to Jagr's camp when approached.

Jagr, according to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, is seeking only a one-year deal to return to the NHL after spending three seasons with the Kontinental Hockey League.

Puck Daddy's Dmitry Chesnokov hears that the interest with the Detroit Red Wings and Jagr may in fact be mutual. This latest from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun would seem to reinforce that: a source claims Mike Babcock had a recruiting call with Jagr over the weekend.

From ESPN.com:

Jaromir Jagr and his agent Petr Svoboda were scheduled to meet in their native Czech Republic on Monday to discuss the next plan of action.

Svoboda told ESPN.com before the meeting that Detroit and Pittsburgh remained in the mix, plus a few other NHL teams. The KHL, of course, also remains an option for Jagr.

Another source told ESPN.com on Monday that Detroit had coach Mike Babcock speak with Jagr over the weekend.

Keep in mind that GM Ken Holland said he assured Nicklas Lidstrom(notes), in his courtship of the captain and his return for next season, that the Wings would be a financially aggressive team that would spend to the salary cap.

Jagr won't come cheap … but what a weapon to add to that arsenal. Of course, the same could be said of the Penguins; Jagr with Sidney Crosby(notes) or Evgeni Malkin(notes) or both? Yes please.

As with anything Jagr-to-the-NHL related, it's difficult to separate giddy nostalgia from gritty reality. This isn't the human comet blazing down the wing and taking on five defenders on his own; this is a player that's probably even a step slower than he was during his productive but offensively deliberate days with the New York Rangers.

Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides needles for your balloons:

How would Jagr fit in under coach Dan Bylsma's system? He has the skill set, but does he have the get-go every shift? Jagr had a strong showing with the Czech Republic at the world championships this spring. But don't forget the 2010 Olympics, when he also looked good -- until Alex Ovechkin(notes) caught him with his head down and leveled him with a punishing open-ice hit. Jagr was a shell after that. How would he hold up over 82 games plus the playoffs?

The money will be greater in the KHL. The fame will be greater in the NHL. It's the same story as when Jagr left in 2008, only now he's three years closer to the end of the line. He knows that a return to the Pittsburgh Penguins or a deal with the Detroit Red Wings will have a seismic impact on the League — perhaps even more than the unending string of Peter Forsberg(notes) comebacks.

Gut feeling: Jagr returns to the NHL. Wearing the Winged Wheel.

Related Articles

Puck Daddy

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog