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Shero hopes Jagr ‘meant what he said’


Penguins general manager Ray Shero spoke with Jaromir Jagr’s agent around 5 p.m. today, but the team does not know if Jagr will accept a one-year offer for around $2 million to return.

Shero said Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, told him the Penguins “are very much in the mix.” Svoboda expected to speak with Jagr tonight, Shero said.

“He doesn’t want to force him into a decision,” Shero said of Svoboda.

Shero said the Penguins’ offer to Jagr remains “on the table,” and that not hearing from Jagr tonight would not alter his hope of signing Jagr when the NHL free-agent period opens tomorrow.

“He’s not holding us hostage or anything,” Shero said, adding that he believes the Penguins can sign Jagr and keep right wing Tyler Kennedy given their salary-cap space.

Shero said he never set a deadline of Wednesday for Jagr to accept an offer presented Tuesday after Shero spoke with Svoboda and Jagr.

“Petr thought the decision would be made by Wednesday; I never put a deadline on it,” Shero said. “I said that certainly us, and probably a lot of other teams, would want to know by the start of free agency – that I’d like to have an idea of what’s going on.”

Svoboda said this morning that Jagr had a “tough decision to make” because “Pittsburgh is in his heart.”

Jagr arrived in New York late Wednesday night, Svoboda said.

Shero said discussions for Kennedy’s camp on a new deal were down to “short strokes.”

“He could really push the envelope here if he wants, but he’s made it clear this is where he really wants to play,” Shero said. “Hopefully we can find something by tomorrow, whether it’s a one-, two- or three-year deal that makes sense.

“That’s what we’re trying to do now.”

Shero said that forwards Mike Rupp and Max Talbot will test the market when free-agency opens.

Jagr, 39, is the headline-grabber in the Penguins’ free-agent equation – though Shero said he hasn’t paid attention reports or talk about the so-called “Jagr Watch.”

He doesn’t see Jagr as a risk on a one-year deal.

“With Jagr, wherever he goes, it’s different hockey than in Russia,” Shero said, comparing the NHL to the Kontinental Hockey League, where Jagr spent the past three seasons.

“It’s an 82-game season here. Are you getting that from Jagr? I don’t know. But on a one-year contract he’s a really good player.”

Shero said he is hoping that Jagr has “meant what he’s said by wanting to do right by Mario (Lemieux).”

Lemieux, the Penguins’ majority co-owner, starred with Jagr for the Penguins in the 1990s – a decade in which they combined to win seven scoring titles and the Stanley Cup twice. Jagr requested a trade from the Penguins during the 2000-2001 season that was highlighted by Lemieux’s stunning comeback from retirement.

Lemieux called Jagr last week to invite him back to the Penguins.

Longtime associates of Lemieux and NHL agents told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday they believed Jagr had worked out parameters of a deal to remain with the Penguins. Svoboda would neither confirm nor deny that.

Detroit and Montreal have also made one-year offers to Jagr. Shero said he believes the Penguins’ offer is competitive.



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. Bryan says:

    Come home Jagr…Any other move at this point will make you more evil than Ho$$a.

  2. TheBrettman says:

    So are folks going to return to the airport to resume trying to spot his next move? Let’s go Pens!!!

  3. Jason says:

    No mention of the Flyers jumping into the Jagr sweepstakes? Is that something that’s not confirmed. I think Dreger mentioned it somewhere today……

  4. Shawn says:

    It seems to me the main question is whether the Penguins are concerned with the events of the past 24 hours or not.

    That they don’t seem to be, to me, says they already know what is going on with Jagr.

    If Jagr truly went AWOL, it would most likely give Shero pause.

    If he’s not concerned, then maybe the Pens know more than they are letting on…

  5. Stu says:

    Let’s be smart about this one folks. Jags may sign or not. But he’s certainly not awol. We all had fun with jagrwatch these past couple of days but business comes far ahead of our need for instantaneous info and resolutions care of the world wide web. 10 years ago we all would have been patiently waiting…..

    Keep tweetin the good tweets Rob. – @igloostu

  6. GC says:

    We signed Asham, but still need a physical player.

  7. Josh says:

    They should sign Rupp he can play physical and has skill to put the puck in the net.

  8. Bobby says:

    I’m thinking the same thing as you Shawn….this could be strategically planned to mess up the start of FA for other teams (RED WINGS) who the Pens could face in the finals

  9. DavedigsDKsblog says:

    Sounds like maybe the other offers are better but Pittsburgh makes sense for other reasons.

    I don’t think he’ll make the right decision. I say he goes with the bigger offer.

    Because the Pens situation is so perfect it shouldn’t take this much time to wonder if it’s right.

  10. Jim Duron says:

    It seems that the local sports media is more worked up than the Pens brass about not getting an answer as quick as possible. If I was Jagr and this was my last contract i would think real hard about what i wanted to do too.

  11. Jim says:

    I’m a recruiter for a living and I negotiate offers for people every day. If I had to apply my experiences to what Jagr and his agent are doing right now, I’d say they’re probably manipulating the Pens and shopping their offer around the league. If Jagr was really as enthusiastic about coming back to Pittsburgh as he says he is, then he would have signed by now. He got the Pens to move first and put an offer out and now he’s buying time to field other offers around the league. While it’s a good negotiating ploy by him and Petr Svoboda, it’s a shame that he’s leaving the Pens hanging in the wind.

  12. dave says:

    I have to believe that Jagr is signing with the Pens. If it were about money, he would have stayed in Russia where it was reported he could make $3,000,000 a year. To come back to the grind of the NHL, he has nothing to prove. I really believe he wants to mend fences with Pittsburgh et al before he retires.

  13. sjb says:

    If Jagr balks on his original statement that he would play for Mario for league minimum after the Pens actually take him up on it and offer him much more than that, then he’s a historic a-hole and should expect to be booed even worse than before, never have his mumber retired with the Pens like they were planning and they should have his invite to the Pens Alumni golf outing torn up too.

    I mean really now, he’s got a chance to make things right again with the fans, the team and himself, so if he screws this up for half a million more to play for Detroit or other, then what’s that tell you about the man…especially when he could have stayed in the KHL and made much more. So, if he’s not coming back to the NHL for money, then what the hell is he here for…to piss of the Pens and the fans even more? Does he seriously think he has any better a chance at winning the cup again with Detroit or Montreal?

    I’m telling you, if this goes down with him signing elsewhere, then screw his history here, let the Rangers or someone else honor his career and memory and as far I’ll remember from here on out, Jim Paek scored the game tying goal in Game 1 of the ’92 Cup Final…Jagr who?

  14. Karen22 says:

    GUESS NOT! Offer just withdrawn—obviously, it really IS all about money with the perpetually immature hypocrite who is Jaromir Jagr. Just shameful!

  15. Christian says:

    Jaromir Jagr has permanently tarnished his legacy with the Penguins. He made over $100 million in his career, and he goes to PHILTHY for an extra 1.3???? Stabbed Mario & the Penguins in the back. He will never be a part of this franchise ever again, in any way. I hope one of the boys lays him out in his 1st game at Consol.

  16. tomas says:

    Number 68 sweater is now available to the first kid that plays wing and makes the team. Goodbye Jags! you screwed over your Pittsburgh legacy for a tiny $1.3 million dollars extra in Philadelphia.

  17. Christian says:

    Rossi, it’s time for an update. Let’s go. And you need to provide insight into Mario and the feeling from the Penguins organization. Let’s hear about other options they are looking at.

  18. Mario says:

    While im not a Jagr fan, this serves the Pens right by trying to low-ball a guy that would be one of there top fowards, even at his age… The Pens are the only ones to blame for this botched deal…

  19. GC says:

    Sullivan for 1.5m for 1 year, not sure about that one.

  20. GC says:

    We are getting smaller instead of bigger.

  21. tomas says:

    Steve Sullivan is just what they don’t need. Too Small, Too injury-prone and Too old and not to mention $1.5 million for 1 year is too much.

  22. The Binker says:

    The Penguins and their fans don’t deserve Jagr after the shabby treatment he received for years.

    The second-best player in franchise history wasn’t even included on the all-time team.

    Whatta joke.

  23. GC says:

    Poor job by Shero letting Rupp go and signing Sullivan for 1.5m, give me a break. Asham is the only toughness who might be an everyday player. Derek Eng. isn’t an everyday player because they think Lovejoy is great. I feel sorry for our star players. Even if he resigned Goodard, he is not an everyday player. I could have cared less about Jagar and Talbot going, but not Rupp.

  24. jack roach says:

    Jagr is a jerk for stabbing Mario in the back, but to go to the flyboys? how sad – 68 never gets to hang in the ‘burgh. Bet Mario is a bit peeved…

  25. #4Orrfan says:

    “Steve Sullivan is just what they don’t need. Too Small, Too injury-prone and Too old and not to mention $1.5 million for 1 year is too much.”

    Add that he’s also a left wing who plays right wing poorly. Is Sullivan going to be Adams’ LW or are they planning on trying to shoehorn another player out of his natural position? Color me skeptical.

    PS – I’m glad Jagr didn’t come here (I didn’t want him from day one) also good luck to Talbot in Philly (except against the Pens), he couldn’t stay with the Pens so he took the big contract. Good for him.

  26. GK says:

    Hey #4Orrfan,
    Talbot could have stayed with the pens! They offered him a 3-year deal. He wanted 5. Tough to sign a (replaceable) role player for 5 years.

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