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Jagr speaks with the media

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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.”

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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.

Comments

  1. Sarah-Jane says:

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

    I’m sorry, what? And going to Philly is going to accomplish that?

    I’m fine with him not signing with the pens, but signing with the flyers cause they’re so good? What? Pittsburgh has two of the best talents in the NHL. What do the flyers have that could possibly compare to Crosby or Malkin.

    If Jagr had returned to the penguins, theres a real possibility that his jersey would`ve been retired after. Now, theres not a snowballs chance in hell.

  2. JP says:

    Hopefully someone breaks his neck in his first shift and he never walks again, let alone plays hockey again.

  3. BL says:

    Um, wishing a broken neck on someone kind of makes you a gigantic bastard.

  4. WHEELS says:

    Jagr has earned the right to do pretty much whatever he wants. He’s the single greatest European hockey player in history. A player that has ALWAYS marched to the beat of his own drum. So I’m having trouble understanding why my fellow Penguins fans are so offended by his actions. Had the Pittsburgh media (Rossi, Kovacevic) not completely over-blogged ‘jagrwatch,’ there wouldn’t have been nearly as much buzz and this wouldn’t be so personal.

  5. Steve says:

    Hey jagr, be a man and not have your agent speak for you

  6. Shawn says:

    Damn @JP, I think you are kinda over doin’ it here brotha! You hope he breaks his neck & never walks again? Don’cha think that’s just a little harsh there man? I’m sorry but the dude has the right 2 sign with whoever he wants. He doesn’t owe Pittsburghs’ organization or the fans anything, am I happy that he had signed with Philly? HELL NO!!! Bc number 1, I am a HUGE Pens fan & I am also a HUGE Flyers hater but I do not believe anyone in the NHL or in the world deserves their neck 2 be broken just bc he had chose 2 sign with the Flyers…the way I look @ it is is that by Jags signin’ with the Flyers, I guess he just doesn’t want 2 win the Stanley Cup in his final year of his career bc we all know who is gonna win the Cup next season…you know it, The Pittsburgh Penguins Baby!!!!!!! ;)
    So JP, c’mon brotha, just chill out…its all good!!!! I guarantee you that after the Flyers have a losin’ season & the Pens wins the Cup, Jags will be regrettin’ this decision that he had made by signin’ with the Flyers, you watch & see brotha!!! ;) AND that’s how confident I am about this situation!
    -Shawn

  7. bjm says:

    I don’t care if he explains in English, Czech, Martian, or cave drawings…it was about $$$ and he was disingenuous.

  8. WHEELS says:

    I think it’s safe to say that Ray Shero is the smartest GM in the NHL. It’s also a safe bet that Shero didn’t want Jagr to begin with as it definitely wasn’t in the teams best interest. But, Mario did. So what does Shero do? Offers Jagr a contract that he knew could easily be doubled by the majority of NHL teams AND then he gives the first-ballot hall-of-famer a deadline – he basically did everything in his power to convey to 68 that he had absolutely zero interest in signing him.

  9. Evilpens says:

    That is RETARDED ! Good Lord grow UP !

    He & Pronger in the same Locker Room hahahaha Pronger Hated Jagr’s Guts

  10. BG says:

    It’s not so much that someone was telling him where to go as he was telling us (Pittsburgh) where he wanted to go.

    Maybe he never said that. Maybe it was blown up by his agent or by the media, or both. Jagr, while having a harried past, has always come across as very honest to me. That’s why I never disliked him.

    With the way this whole situation played out I’m upset. While I don’t necessarily believe he misled anyone, he certainly could’ve handled this situation better.

    Let’s all be like GMRS. It’s all business. Jagr still played great hockey here, helped us win a few cups and seemed to enjoy his time here for the most part.

    Keep in mind he never crossed the line with anyone like Pittsburgh’s favorite quarterback.

  11. KornKind66 says:

    JP – Wow, dude.

    Anyway, I am as upset as any Pens fan and I will get my satisfaction by seeing the Penguins dump Judas and the Flyers from the playoffs… just like the last two times the teams met. Payback is gonna be sweet. Jags, I suggest you give Hossa a call and personally ask him how it felt.

  12. Elle says:

    Don’t think my comment appeared due to an error with the Captcha confirmation–my apologies for any duplication, and Mods, feel free to delete this entry.

    I stated that Jagr’s comments were the very definition of obtuse. None of the anger and outrage on our end would’ve happened had HE and his unprofessional agent not started it all. He said he wanted to come back to where his heart was. He should’ve stated thusly:

  13. Christian says:

    On December 29th, I want him to get laid out on his first shift. And embarrass himself around the league after that. You think that Philly room will like this diva? Remember with the Rangers, he REFUSED to participate in multiple shoot outs! And he was their Captain! I will be at that 12.29 game, and I hope the rest of you make it clear to this primadonna that we will hate him forever. I know I will.

  14. tomas says:

    Pittsburgh Penguins have a simple choice also just like like Jaromir does and it goes like this “Just because people talk about retiring your number in Pittsburgh, that doesn’t mean it will ever be actually retired”. No questions about his aging Groin from the media? Maybe it will get sore again when he plays the Pens and Sidney Crosby goes whizzing past the the old fragile Czech?

  15. GoPens says:

    Jagr … you are a damn fool. I must admit I was hoping you’d come back. But now that all this has happened and you’ve shown once again that you still haven’t grown up I’m glad Shero pulled the offer and basically told you to stick it. We don’t want you infecting the locker room. We have the needed leader, we have the scoring, we have the defense and goaltending and we will happily bounce you and your little flyers out of the playoffs again.

    Jagr who?

  16. DLEp says:

    Who do you invite to dinner first: Neil O’Donnell or Jagr?

  17. Elle says:

    Obtuse. Astonishingly oblivious. Just say,

  18. SixtySix says:

    The penguins are a special family like none other in any major sports and Jagr doesn’t belong in it. He’s a selfish, greedy punk. Longstanding Pens fans-DON’T be disappointed! This is a special club that has something more special in my opinion than any other club. Lemieux, the most talented offensive player in history, spent his entire career a Penguin, took over the team, they draft Crosby, who moves in with Lemieux and is mentored, they have Malkin, who I’ve always believed can be better than Crosby if he gets his head/mental game in check, Fleury, Staal, Letang all drafted by them. I don’t understand the outrage over Jagr, a washed up, never was a backcheckin, fool. Yes, this was a distraction, but eliminating him the first time helped us get to the drafting all of these gems. When he demanded the trade, even before Mario called him out for not being a leader in the playoffs, he was sulking because the old captain came back. I guarantee this is the same reason he didn’t come back now. This is Sidney’s team and that baby would not be able to handle it and he knows it.

  19. Elijjah says:

    This

  20. Pens9192 says:

    Jagr would have been a curiosity at best with the Penguins. Let’s think rationally for a minute – no matter how good he looked in a few games at the International tournament, he’s a 39 year-old player who has been out of the NHL for the past 3 seasons and could only average less than a point per game in the KHL… which is hardly setting the world on fire. The Flyers signed him for some semblance of offensive depth after dropping Richards and Carter, and they grossly overpaid.

    Thank God Shero was smart enough to pull the offer. I’ll take keeping Kennedy, Dupuis and getting Sullivan over Jagr any day.

  21. JC says:

    JP..maybe not his neck….but i wouldnt mind a broken leg thrown jagr’s way :)

  22. Limey says:

    Wheels –
    best european player ever to play inthe NHL – tick
    best stick handler in the history of ice hockey – tick
    media over-blogged jagrwatch – tick
    shero didn’t want him – tick
    do I now hate him with a passion that would make milk curdle – tick

    People who know me would tell you that I idolised this guy when he was a Pens player but after all the BS about his heart was here and would play for Mario for the NHL minimum … forget it. If he didnt say those things I would be cool with him going anywhere BUT the cryers. The problem is he or his agent DID say those things and he DID go to the cryers for an extra 30 pieces of silver. I hope he gets run over by a steam roller. Failing that I hope he gets run over by Orpik, in an instantly career ending way.

  23. Tom C. says:

    To be fair people, the Flyers were in the Finals 2 years ago so they have a lot to offer. And, I think that the local media was responsible for hyping this up more than anything. Pittsburgh was a consideration. But obviously wasn’t the consideration. If you watch Shero’s press conference he said the same thing. Who cares? He’s a 39 year old wing that was grossly out of shape while in the KHL, and would have brought a ton of his diva locker room baggage with him. Sure it would have been fun, but all those great highlights you watch were 2 decades ago. He’s not the same player he was. He’s good, but I’m a lot happier knowing we have TK signed and Steve Sullivan is going to be a great addition. The Pens do have 2 Art Ross Trophy winners of their own returning to the lineup.

    Jagr, is taking too much grief over this. There are zero indications that he had any agreement in place to come here.

  24. Ctownlovespens says:

    I love it. flyers back on top as most hated team in pittsburgh. My list.

    1. Flyers
    2. Ravens
    3. Caps
    4. Bungles/browns
    5. Islanders

  25. BigDeal says:

    Maybe if the GM genius Shero would have offered a little more than chicken feed for his offer, Jagr would be a Pen. Which one of you self righteous clowns wouldn’t take 1.3 million a year for an annual salary??? The alternative Sullivan??? The Stanley Cup team that Patrick built is being slowly dismantled before our eyes.

  26. Kris106 says:

    @ BIgDeal

    “The Stanley Cup team that Patrick built is being slowly dismantled before our eyes.” Uh, what? What does that even mean? You do realize that Patrick has been gone since 2006, and they won the cup in 2009, with Shero’s team? Wow. Just, wow.

  27. Ryshec says:

    The media did hype the situation, but Petr Svboda definitely called Pittsburgh media outlets and said

  28. Jay Baileys says:

    Big Deal,

    Since you still think it’s Patrick’s team you may not realize there is a salary cap now. The Penguins actually have to follow it too! They offered about all they could maybe could have went 1/2 million more. I was pissed at first but this is awesome! Even more reason to hate the Flyers!!!!!!!
    I don’t hate Max yet. He got way more than he’s worth and a 5 year deal. How can you blame him? I won’t hate him until he takes a cheap hit on Sid or Geno, or scores a short-hander against us.

  29. Matt says:

    Just because there is a salary cap doesn’t mean they couldn’t have offered more to Jagr, there offer was not “competitive” as Shero stated. They could always waive Niskanen and sunk him in the minors to free up an additional 1.5M. This was completely about Shero not really wanting Jagr, and Shero’s need to have money free for a possible trade deadline acquisition later. People are hating on Jagr for things the media sensationalized, if you listen to his press conference his choices he made make a lot of sense. Besides the increased pay, his comments about playing on the PP for the flyers as a left-handed option makes a ton of sense. Giroux and Briere are RH, that leaves plenty of room to work his accustomed spot on the wall. Its unclear how a PP with Malkin, Crosby, and Jagr might have played out. And its not like Philly isn’t a good team, even with all the changes they made. They will be right there competing with the Pens, Bruins, Caps, and tampa (w/ Stamkos) for the top spot in the conference. The bottomline is, if you look at it objectively, without the homer glasses, Jagr made the right choice for a lot of reasons. Don’t blame him for the constant media hype machine that was created by Rossi et al.

  30. Shawn says:

    I just read where Bylsma has not given up on the Malkin as a winger idea.

    FOR THE LOVE OF…

    You don’t take one of…if not…THE best center in the world and make him the second line RW.

    Geno was jerked around the lineup, never had the same linemates for more than a game or two (on top of playing hurt) and everyone wonders why he had a down year last year.

    IF Geno is moved to wing….it should ONLY be to play with Sid on the top line…giving each Sid and Geno a world class linemate…each other.

    That would leave a Kunitz – Staal – Cooke second line. Not bad. Not GREAT, though…

    Great is the 3 center model…that is how this team is built. That is how this team won.

    Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
    Neal – Malkin – Sullivan
    Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
    Asham – Letestu – Adams
    Jeffrey

    Besides, we can put out 3 (4 actually) very good lines…

    This team should not be totally restructed to give Mark Letestu more playing time.

    If we AREN’T going to use the 3 center model, then just trade Staal for a winger now.

  31. radek says:

    Today was in czech newspapers interesting interview with 68 about his choice http://isport.blesk.cz/clanek/hokej-nhl/107399/nastvany-jagr-pittsburgh-ze-me-udelal-idiota.html (use google translater for that,but it is not the whole article)! And his choice make sense..I wanted him back in penguins too (nice happy end),but i understand him..Interest from Penguins was cold and he didnt feel hey realy want him..St.Luis offered him 6M,so his choice wasnt about money..his choice was about the chance try to be one of the best in nhl, not only a vet old star atraction in some team!!!

  32. RPK21774 says:

    Too many 3rd & 4th liners on this team to contend for the Cup. Dupuis, Sullivan, Kennedy, Cooke, Adams, Letestu, Asham, Jerrery and any Baby Penguins callup all 3rd or 4th liners at best, If Sid or Geno goes down, loss of offense will be too much to overcome. Team is a lot less tough with this current line up also. Steve Sullivan? Give me a break. I am hoping for the best, but look what HOPE got us in the White House!!!

  33. Aleš says:

    I am great fan of Pens and now I say that Ray made ​​the offer only polite. While Philly asked him on his hockey ideas (training, system, power plays, etc.) Ray said that he will not get time on ice but that he will finished his career beautifully. Jags want to play, to scores, to win, to lift the Stanley Cup! And Ray Shero didn´t talk about team hockey with him! I watched Jags in Omsk, in national jersey and I know that he is able to help his team in journey for Stanley Cup!

    Let´s Go Pens, Let´s Go Jags!

  34. D Miele says:

    Jaromir Jagr is the new Marian Hossa.

  35. Arnie says:

    Instant classic. Can’t believe he rolled out the good old

  36. Nick says:

    Should be noted that the two teams who have won the cup a total of 7 times in the past 20 years both retracted their offers at the same time and a team who hasn’t won it since 1975 payed more to get him.

    We’ll see where the Wings and Pens end up next year and where Philly does. I would imagine there’s a pretty huge difference between the KHL and NHL, and nowadays teams and defense are catching on to the European individual superstar type of player that Jagr used to be (note how pathetic Kovalev looked when trying his classic moves that worked back in the late 90′s and early 2000′s). Only a talented few can pull that off nowadays – Malkin comes to mind as one of them.

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