Sources: Mario encouraged by talk with Jagr
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Jaromir Jagr spoke with Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux on Thursday, and sources said Lemieux came away encouraged by the conversation.
However, the Penguins have not made an offer and are not convinced the wing would be willing to return to the Penguins for less money than he could make elsewhere. Detroit also is interested and likely could offer the NHL's ninth all-time leading scorer more money.
If their intent is to sign the second-leading scorer in franchise history, the Penguins wouldn't be able to officially add Jagr until July 1. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed yesterday that Jagr is ineligible to sign with an NHL team until July 1 because of a "blackout period" stipulated by the collective bargaining agreement. Earlier this week, Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, indicated that he expects Jagr to sign with the Penguins or Red Wings before July 1.
On Wednesday, coach Dan Bylsma expressed interest in Jagr's return, but there is debate within the organization about whether the 39-year-old still can be a top-six forward.
Sources said general manager Ray Shero is not interested in paying much more than $1 million for Jagr's services. The Penguins are committed to roughly $55 million toward the salary cap for next season, leaving them about $9 million to work with. Whether unrestricted free agents such as Pascal Dupuis, Max Talbot and Mike Rupp and restricted free agent Tyler Kennedy return could hinge on the decision on Jagr, who has spent the past three seasons in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.
"Long before I was in Pittsburgh, Jagr was an icon there," Shero said Thursday. "So, I can understand people being interested in what's going on."
The unknown factor is Lemieux, Jagr's former teammate and hockey idol. Jagr has been complimentary of the Penguins in recent years and in 2009 said he "owes my hockey life" to Lemieux.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins assistant coach Tocchet wants Letang to shoot more on power play
- Penguins notebook: Team celebrates ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ event
- Fleury, Penguins too much for Kings
- Starkey: Hockey hypocrites, unite
- Penguins veteran defenseman Scuderi’s game looking up
- Penguins notebook: Bennett close to returning
- Penguins notebook: Jagr still an impact player in 23rd season
- Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade
- Penguins assistant coach Tocchet marvels at Maatta’s demeanor
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Penguins look to buck shots, goals trend