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Jagr speaks with the media


Josh Yohe hopped on a conference call between Jaromir Jagr and the media today. Josh’s quick-hitting story, worth reading:

Jaromir Jagr is not apologizing for not signing with the Penguins.

“I didn’t promise anybody anything,” Jagr said in a conference call Saturday. “If the Penguins feel like I did something wrong, you know, I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong. If they feel like that, I can’t change their minds.”

Jagr said he had a brief conversation with Penguins Mario Lemieux. When asked if his relationship with Lemieux was damage, Jagr did not give a specific answer.

“I talked with him once,” Jagr said. “Wasn’t for very long. He talked about the organization. I didn’t talk with him since I left the NHL.”

Jagr said money was not the deciding factor in choosing the Flyers.

“There were a lot more teams offering more money than Philadelphia,” he said.

Jagr spoke at length about not signing with the Penguins.

“If I hurt somebody,” he said, “I apologize. I want people to understand that this is my life. It is tough for me to explain in English. It would be easier in Czech. But hopefully you can understand what I’m trying to stay.”

Jagr said it was simply his choice, and he chose the Flyers. He never indicated how close he came to signing with the Penguins.

“I still had a chance to go wherever I wanted,” he said. “It was my option. Just because somebody is tell you they want you to go there (Pittsburgh), that doesn’t mean that’s where you have to go.”

Jagr said he wouldn’t be playing in the NHL if he didn’t believe his game, at 39, could still work in North American.

He credited many old Penguins, including Paul Coffey, Kevin Stevens and Rich Tocchet, with teaching him how to become a professional.

“I learned a lot from them,” he said.

He spoke longer about not signing with Pittsburgh than any other subject, indicating that he was upset that so many believed a handshake deal with the Penguins was in place. Jagr said that he thinks Philadelphia has an excellent team and that he has been keeping track of the league while in Europe.

“I only have one goal,” he said. “To make people happy.”




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.

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