The unfathomable absence of Jaromir Jagr from an NHL roster continues as the preseason rolls on.
The last few days have brought some clarity to his next steps if North America is out of the picture, as well as when we can expect the 45-year-old legend to announce them. Aivis Kalnins reports that Jagr’s agent has set an October 5th target for a decision:
“The future of Jagr will be known in October, the day after NHL regular season begins, after which there will be where he will continue his career.” He noted that almost 100% of the rumors on Jagr’s next team on the internet are inaccurate and should be considered rumors. “Jagr wants to continue to play, but we are not sure where he will continue his career.”
Please note that October 5th is one day after the start of the NHL season.
That last bit from the agent could be targeting the reports that Jagr is KHL bound if no NHL team steps up. Specifically, Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik has voiced interest in the legend and claims it has the resources to sign him.
Jagr didn’t exactly douse those flames in recent comments to Igor Eronko of Sports Express:
“There’re 3-4 teams we talk to. If I know for sure it’s no NHL then I gonna look for something else in Europe. KHL is possible cause if I’m not in NHL then I want to go to the Olympics. I want to try to make the team. And if I want the Olympics, I have to play in the best possible league, that’s what the KHL is.”
Jagr also said he’s not coming to an NHL on a tryout contract because “after 25 years they know what kind of player I am.”
(He’s just the greatest.)
At this point, the smart money’s on Jagr playing in Europe, tearing up the Olympics as a quasi-audition – which, if memory serves, the 2010 Vancouver Games were for him too, in a way – and then trying to hook up with an NHL team as a late-season boost. Especially for a moribund power play, where Jagr’s best value is likely found.