June 30, 2011
The ever-morphing hockey drama known as Jagr Watch rolls on, as a second Jaromir Jagr Decision Day has passed by without any definitive word on where the 39-year-old former NHL star will play next season.
Luckily, his agent Petr Svoboda can't seem to stop talking and is engaged in the most shamelessly public negotiation since Sean Young wore a homemade Catwoman suit to lobby Tim Burton for a role in "Batman Returns." So there's plenty of information and scuttlebutt.
Here's the latest from the loopy world of Jagr Watch 2011:
• The Pittsburgh Penguins are "very much in the mix" according to Svoboda, and GM Ray Shero said another night without an answer from Jagr would not affect their standing offer to him. Shero also said that he hoped Jagr was true to his words about "wanting to do right by Mario (Lemieux)," which is some serious psychological warfare right there.
• Or maybe it won't be the Penguins. Svoboda told ESPN.com that there are "a lot more teams now we're talking to" and that a decision by Jagr will come "in the next few days." Previously, Pittsburgh, the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens were mentioned as primary suitors.
Just got off the phone with someone I trust. I was told Jagr has already told Lemieux that he's going to sign with Pittsburgh and that the Penguins have a huge front page for their Web site ready to go live at Noon tomorrow with a big "welcome home" theme.
Why the delay then? From what I was told Jagr's agent Petr Svoboda may have been trying to lure another team into offering Jagr a bit more money so he can put a PR spin like "I turned down more money to come back to Pittsburgh." Is it possible the Flyers are that team?
Hey, after Jagr's agent literally had no idea where his client was on Wednesday night, we'd say anything's possible.
Meanwhile, we'd say the Penguins are ready, and have been since June 29: