Insider Only NHL Free Agency Buzz: Front runners for Jagr; Jokinen, Upshall to hit open market

Jagr in talks with Habs, Red Wings
The two front runners emerging in the Jaromir Jagr sweepstakes appear to be the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.
Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda tells ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun that the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings are among team’s they have spoken with. Montreal has been at the top of Jagr’s wishlist for sometime, due to his close relationship with Tomas Plekanec.
What remains to be seen is how interested in Montreal is. The Red Wings, meanwhile, are exploring the possibility.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland tells LeBrun that talks with Jagr’s camp are just preliminary at this point.
It appears Jagr’s previous agents at the NHL level, JP Barry and Pat Brisson are not involved in these negotiations.
Reportedly, Jagr has also contacted the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.
The Penguins remain not interested.
Jokinen, Upshall expected to hit the open market
Two intriguing wingers that might be of interest to Penguins fans, who are not expected to be retained by their respective teams before July 1….

Scottie Upshall and Jussi Jokinen.
Upshall, 27, scored 22 goals and collected 34 points in 82 games combined with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Phoenix Coyotes in 2010-2011.
What’s very intriguing about Upshall is his ability to put the puck in the net as he enters his prime.
He scored 18 goals in just 49 games with Phoenix in 2009-2010 and last season had 16 goals in 61 games with Phoenix and added 6 goals in 21 games with the Phoenix Coyotes.
The 6-foot-0, 197-pound winger is a strong skater and plays right wing. Of note, In Phoenix and Columbus, he didn’t have an elite centerman to play with either.
Scouts have called him a younger version of Pascal Dupuis in regards to his two-way game, except, he’s a better goal scorer.
Upshall though made $2.25 million in 2010-2011 and the Blue Jackets don’t expect to retain him before July 1.
The Carolina Hurricanes also don’t expect to resign Jussi Jokinen, whose fully expected to hit the open market.
Jokinen, 28, had 19 goals and 33 assists for 52 points in 70 games last season.
He’s one of the more wildcards going into free agency as he’s flashed 30 goal potential in the past.
In 2009-2010 Jokinen had a career season, scoring 30 goals and 65 points. Jokinen made $1.9 million last season and should command $3-to-$4 million on the open market.
What would make him such an intriguing player for the Penguins.
He’s also very effective on the power play.
In 09-10, Jokinen tallied 10 power play goals and scored 8 power play goals in 2010-2011.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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