Bylsma has no worries about Jagr's attitude
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Don't expect Penguins coach Dan Bylsma to object if general manager Ray Shero signs Jaromir Jagr.
Bylsma spoke glowingly of Jagr moments before the NHL Entry Draft began Friday and dismissed any notion that the former Penguins star is a coach killer. Although Jagr has endured occasionally rocky relationships with coaches such as Herb Brooks in Pittsburgh and Ron Wilson in Washington, Bylsma isn't concerned.
If anything, the newly crowned Jack Adams Award winner as the league's top coach sounds enthusiastic about the possibility of working with Jagr, the NHL's ninth all-time leading scorer.
"If I had done homework, that's not what I've heard," Bylsma said of Jagr's bad reputation with coaches. "I haven't heard that from people who may or may not have played with him at the World Championships."
Translation: Bylsma spoke with Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek, who played with Jagr for the Czech Republic in the World Championships last month. Bylsma acknowledged talking with Michalek, who offered a positive report regarding Jagr's attitude.
Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, likely will speak with Shero and Red Wings general manager Ken Holland this weekend. The NHL confirmed Thursday that Jagr isn't permitted to sign with an NHL team until July 1. No news of negotiations was apparent yesterday.
Bylsma might be involved in any Jagr talks.
"To the extent that there is involvement, I am involved with Ray," Bylsma said. "There is talk among people in the organization about where Jagr would fit."
Bylsma said the Penguins hadn't seriously considered Jagr until recently, referencing quotes Jagr made in "a Russian newspaper" during the World Championships.
But now, there is a different tone in Bylsma and the Penguins' approach toward this situation.
Bylsma confirmed that the "Jagr watch" is a primary issue for the Penguins and spoke at length of Jagr's talent.
"It's on the front burner now with July 1 coming," he said.
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 hire Agnew as assistant coach
- Penguins re-sign Megna, Samuelsson to 1-year deals
- Penguins are saying captain Crosby’s right wrist may need surgery
- Downie: Joining Penguins ‘made sense’
- New general manager Rutherford, Penguins in favor of short-term deals
- Pens hope to reach long-term deal with Brandon Sutter
- As top target balks, Penguins’ coaching search continues
- Defenseman Ehrhoff excited about opportunity with Penguins
- New Penguins winger Spaling files for arbitration