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Details on Jagr developments, and the preseason schedule is out.


= So, the big news today is that former RW Jaromir Jagr has reached out to the Penguins about possibly resuming his NHL career with his original team. The story:

Some details:


  • The approach came from Jagr’s camp, who has also talked to with several teams including the Red Wings, Canadiens and possibly the Rangers. As of 3:30 p.m. on Monday, the Red Wings and Penguins were Jagr’s preferred choices.
  • I cannot confirm the Penguins have interest, only that they did listen to Jagr’s camp when approached.
  • Jagr, according to’s Pierre LeBrun, is seeking only a one-year deal to return to the NHL after spending three seasons with the Kontinental Hockey League. (Props to Pierre for being on top of this story over the weekend; I only started hearing rumblings late yesterday.)
  • Coach Dan Bylsma does view RW Tyler Kennedy as a potential top-six forward, but there is debate in the organization if he is a top-unit power-play performer – hence, perhaps, the lack of movement on a new deal for Kennedy, a restricted free agent. (Also, there is concern over overpaying him based on comparables pending a possible arbitration ruling.)
  • I’ve been told by several people inside and outside of the Penguins organization that the team is looking into finding a replacement for Kennedy before it would need to make a decision regarding qualifying him for arbitration. Also told the team wouldn’t rule out keeping that replacement AND Kennedy for next season.
  • The Penguins would like to add a forward who can work the half-wall on the power play, believing that Cs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can be better utilized at other spots on the ice with the man-advantage.
  • With the salary cap, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s report, going up to $64 million next season, the Penguins currently have approximately $8 million in available space. However, they have many holes to fill up front.
  • Jagr, as I understand, could be signed before July 1, when the free-agent period opens in the NHL.
  • At the World Championships in May, Shero did not meet face-to-face with Jagr to extend an invite to an alumni golf tournament that will serve as a reunion of the 1991 Stanley Cup champions. Jagr’s Czech Republic teammate, Penguins D Zbynek Michlaek, passed along the invitation from Shero. Regarding Jagr, Shero said then: “I’ve never had a conversation with him in my life.”
  • There were no discussions about a possible return as a player between Jagr and the Penguins before this reach out by Jagr’s camp – possibly this past Friday.
  • Jagr and Penguins majority co-owner Mario Lemieux remain on good terms. I haven’t heard Lemieux has become involved in any possible discussions, and any speculation as to that would be premature – though, it would be speculation I expect to hear.
  • Jagr’s camp was meeting today to talk about the options. I’ve not been told on that end that a decision will be made today.


= The preseason schedule is out:

 DATE     OPPONENT         TIME      SITE

Sept. 21                Red Wings           7 p.m.   Consol Energy Center

Sept. 22                Blackhawks         7 p.m.   Consol Energy Center

Sept. 24                Wild       3 p.m.   Consol Energy Center

Sept. 27                Kings     8 p.m.   Sprint Center (Kansas City)

Sept. 30                Blackhawks         8 p.m.   United Center

Oct. 2    Red Wings           4 p.m.   Joe Louis Arena


  • Interesting that four years after ownership visited Kansas City to tour the then-new Sprint Center as a possible permanent home, the Penguins will play the Los Angeles Kings there in an exhibition game. The Kings play home games in Los Angeles at Staples Center, which is operated by AEG – the same entertainment company that owns Staples Center.
  • The home game against the Minnesota Wild will be the second annual free kids games, where students and youth hockey players gain free admission to Consol Energy Center. This was a great event last preseason and should be again. Expect more details at a later date.
  • Look for the regular-season schedule to be out sometime this week, as the NHL wants to release it before Entry Draft on Friday.


= The Penguins are sponsoring a series of youth-hockey related events in July: one-day skill clinics (July 11-15), with instructions from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coaches and the club’s power-skating consultant; a Mite American Development Model tournament (July 8-9). All events are at Consol Energy Center and information can be found at




Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.


  1. Yikes says:

    Hi – Any word on the Max Talbot contract? I just can’t imagine him as anything but a Penguin.

  2. eric says:

    Jagr still has the skills and size and with world class centers to set him up, he could do some real damage.
    The pens needs anything to help the pathetic PP and Jagr can still muscle his way into shooting lanes.

    Talbot’s stock has seemed to drop but I agree, I can’t see him playing anywhere else. He’s the typical jack of all trades type of player even if he does not put up many points.

    My Jagr jersey has been collecting dust for ages, It would be nice to put it on again.

    Hey, he certainly can’t be any worse then Kovalev was.

    If Recchi can play till he’s 43 I have no doubt Jagr could as well if he wanted to.

  3. Shawn says:

    If we pass on Jaromir Jagr to dress the Nick Johnson’s of the world…

  4. F. Joel S. says:

    Note: AEG also operates the Sprint Center and the mostly now unused Kemper Arena in Kansas City. Also, the Kings have been playing a preseason game in Kansas City for a very long time, usually against the St Louis Blues.
    In fact, as a Penguins fan it’s kind of cool my team is coming here. I’ve had my ticket for a few weeks already.
    To be clear, I’m happy the Pens stayed in Pittsburgh, to play in front of packed houses every night. It is where they belong.

    Few people in Kansas City pay much attention to hockey. KU, and MU basketball are where loyalties lie.
    See you there.


    The Pens deliberations over Tyler Kennedy are irritating. TK has always had the tools, now he’s got the confidence and maturity to go with it. He was clearly one of the Pens best forwards in the latter half of the season and into the playoffs and he put up his best numbers by a wide margin. After all the line-jockeying, stop-gaps, and flops the Pens have gone through in an attempt to find a legit scoring winger, one finally presents himself within the organization and the Pens are debating semantics. The Pens have no problems paying Jordan Staal $4M to centre a third line, but balk at paying a developing top-six winger $1.5M?

    Sorry, this one should be a no-brainer.

  6. espo33 says:

    If we are able to sign him I would rather have him with Malkin as he hasn’t had a decent winger in a while. Have Neal-Malkin-Jagr together and this would allow Staal to go back to 3rd line duty. Crosby can play with Kunitz and either N. Johnson, Tangs, Jeffrey, Letestu (all though his facing off would not be utilized) or Dupius if he is resigned.

  7. espo33 says:

    And if you really think about it, this might be the key in what else they do for the off season. They lock him up, do they really need Dupius AND TK? They probably won’t need Talbot.

    If he signs this could also possibly break up Crosby and Malkin on the PP, but probably not. They will probably put Neal in front, Crosby, Jagry with Letang and Malkin at the points. We know Malkin at the point is a bad idea… Then the 2nd unit would be crap with Kunitz, Staal, Letestu, possibly Jeffrey and Marin/Lovejoy or Michelak at the points…

  8. Dave says:

    Guess I would be OK with Jags signing as long as it doesn’t break the bank (anything over $2M is, to me, out of the question); and it doesn’t come at the expense of another legit free agent signing. I guess adding Jags for a year won’t hurt, but I really don’t see a 39 YO improving the team all that much. I remember his last year in NY — he was slower, less skilled, lacked physicality, and the shot was waning. There was a reason he ran to the KHL and it wasn’t all money. And someone please tell me how he fits in Coach Dan’s system?

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