Jaromir Jagr is still unsigned just over a month before NHL training camps open, which would be the saddest news ever were it not for the recent developments in mutually assured nuclear annihilation.
Jagr, 45, still has something to offer, having posted 46 points in 82 games last season with the Florida Panthers. Granted, he might have more to offer if he didn’t have to play 82 games in the NHL, mabe like 30 or 40, which we’ll get to in a moment.
First, here’s Jagr to NHL.com this week, on his plans for next season:
“The most serious negotiations I have are with Kladno. Because Kladno has a smart owner who knows what he wants,” joked Jagr, who owns the team in Czech Republic’s second-tier professional league. “No, really, I don’t have a clue. I leave it all on my agent [Petr Svoboda]. There is a couple of [NHL] teams that showed interest, but nothing specific yet.”
(This joke invited visions of Jagr sitting at a conference table, negotiating with himself, running around to different chairs every time he or his “owner” speaks. Maybe he has a suit and tie under a track suit too. The comedy is really endless.)
Jagr said he “didn’t expect it would be so hard to get a job in the NHL this year,” but we imagine that has something to do with Jagr himself being a bit frugal about the teams for whom he’d play, based on geography and his role with them. Yet it’s clear that even if Jagr returns to play in the Czech Republic with Kladno, the goal is to find some way, any way, to get back to the NHL this season.
“That would be the advantage of playing for Kladno. One thing is I would be at home and the other is I would have a chance to leave for the NHL anytime there is an opportunity,” he said. “Let’s say some team deals with injuries and needs help, then I could pack my stuff in the next day and go. If I played in Extraliga, I wouldn’t have such an option unless the Czech league season would be over.”
It’s pretty clear Jagr still has some irons in the fire with the NHL, although one wonders if those are strictly professional tryout offer deals for him to attend a camp in search of a contract.
Again, one hopes something comes through for him, so NHL fans can give Jagr the proper sendoff this legendary player deserves. Assuming he doesn’t play until he’s 50. Which is entirely possible when it’s Jaromir Jagr we’re talking about.
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