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Kovacevic: What happened to that deadline'

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By Dejan Kovacevic
Thursday, June 30, 2011

This Jaromir Jagr drama is beginning to veer into silly territory, and it's getting close to time for the Penguins to do something about that.

First, agent Petr Svoboda said Wednesday was going to be Decision Day. Ray Shero, the Penguins' GM, openly stated that he, too, expected a decision on his one-year offer on that same day.

Then, the agent says Jagr will deliver his decision within an hour of landing at JFK.

Then, the turtles.

Then, Jagr's whereabouts become unknown to the point that even Svoboda embarrassingly admits that he doesn't know where his client is. But still, more promises come that the decision will be today.

And now, Svoboda casually declares that a couple other teams have poked their heads into the hole and that a decision might not come today.

Enough already.

Shero and the Penguins stepped up, including Mario Lemieux, Dan Bylsma and everyone else involved in the process. Their offer, by all accounts, is fair — one year in the range of $2 million — and pretty much everything they have left under the cap while maintaining a contending team. They kept their word.

It's time for Jagr to show whether or not he's serious when he tells people "his heart is in Pittsburgh," as Svoboda reiterated again this morning.

This isn't that complicated.

Shero and the Penguins have to get about the serious business of hitting the ground running Friday at noon when the NHL's free agency season begins. And they can't afford to go one minute past 11:59 a.m. that day waiting for Jagr, Svoboda, other bidders or turtles.

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