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Jagr's agent: 'Pittsburgh is in the loop'

| Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The agent for free agent right wing Jaromir Jagr said this morning there is a "really, really good chance" Jagr will play this season in the NHL.

Petr Svoboda, Jagr's new agent, said he will talk again today with Penguins general manager Ray Shero about possibly signing a one-year deal with the Penguins.

Jagr's legacy with the Penguins is a factor.

"We talked a lot about that (Monday), just Jaromir and I speaking about his days with the Penguins," said Svoboda, speaking from the Czech Republic, who indicated the Penguins have expressed interest.

"Playing again in Pittsburgh is obviously something that's on Jaromir's mind, but I wouldn't say it's the main factor. The main factor for him is having a chance to win again."

Svoboda said it's "obvious" Jagr's not seeking top dollar. He would not provide a range of salary Jagr is seeking.

The agent suggested the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings are front runners, but said other teams are in the mix. He would not identify those teams or the league's in which they play. Jagr, 39, has played the past three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Regarding the Penguins, Svoboda said the appeal to Jagr is returning to his NHL roots, playing with centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and "being part of the professional, winning organization Ray has built."

Shero is not the only Penguins' official on Jagr's mind.

"I talked to Jaromir yesterday about Pittsburgh. (Jagr) loves that team, that city," Svoboda said. "I also spoke with (former Penguin) Robert Lang and he told me Mario Lemieux is trying to reach Jagr right now to talk."

Lemieux is the Penguins' majority co-owner, a former teammate of Jagr's and Jagr's boyhood idol.

The Tribune-Review reported Monday that Jagr's camp had reached out to the Penguins, who are considering bringing Jagr back to the team with which he spent his first 11 NHL seasons.

The Penguins have declined comment.

Shero, and coach Dan Bylsma are in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards Show.

The Penguins do not have top-6 right winger under contract for next season. They have approximately $8 million in available salary-cap space with 17 players committed to NHL contracts.

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