Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" Father time always comes out on top and it was quite an NHL career for Jaromir Jagr.
Jagr today cleared waivers, presumably ending his legendary NHL career as he will now go back to Europe to continue playing.
One of the All-time greats, Jagr is top-5 all-time in goals, assists, points and games played:
766 Goals (3rd)
1,155 Assists (5th)
1,921 Points (2nd)
1,733 Games Played (3rd)
1,079 of Jagr’s 1,921 career points came as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins where he won two Stanley Cups and established himself as one of most dominating forwards of not just his era but all-time.
Jagr last wore a Penguins uniform in 2001 but there were two opportunities over the last 10 years where a Jagr reunion to Pittsburgh was in play.
After Marian Hossa turned down a 7 year, $50 million offer from the Penguins in July 2008 and signed with the Red Wings on July 2, 2008, former Penguins GM Ray Shero gave serious consideration to signing Jagr and engaged into discussions with Jagr’s agent at the time Pat Brisson where numbers were discussed such as a 1 year deal worth around $5.5 million but the two sides never got close to a deal and Pittsburgh quickly moved on to sign Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko.
Things worked out pretty well for the Penguins that season……
The Penguins, though, came the closest to a Jagr reunion in the summer of 2011, where the organization got played badly by the agent Petr Svoboda in believing Jagr wanted to come back to Pittsburgh so bad that he would come for $2 million per season.
Jagr is always about the money and feeling wanted. Pittsburgh botched things in both of those areas during a period he was still a really productive player.
Shero made a total miscalculation with an offer $1.3 million lower than the Flyers made and among the complaints from Jagr’s camp at the time is that Shero also told Jagr during discussions they wanted him to play on the third line and the organization couldn’t increase their offer beyond $2 million per season because resigning Tyler Kennedy was their top priority that summer.
Pittsburgh’s first offer was even lower than $2 million.
Jagr watch is something I will never forgot and the same with the Penguins publicizing in announcing on the first day of free agency that they withdrew their offer to Jagr and even publicized they made a 1 year, $2 million offer.
That just never happens.
Shero’s Statement on Jagr when the Penguins withdrew their offer:
“We made what we thought was a very fair contract offer to Jaromir on Tuesday, based on his stated interest of returning to the Penguins,” said Ray Shero, the team’s executive vice president and general manager. “We made our best offer from the start, given our salary cap structure, in an attempt to facilitate a deal. But now, after several days, with an extended time frame for making a decision, and additional teams getting involved, we have decided to move in a different direction. It was never our intention to get involved in a free agent bidding war, and we have to focus on our team.”
Less than an hour later Tyler Kennedy was signed to a 2 year, $4 million contract and nine months later the Penguins were bounced in the first round by Jagr and the Philadelphia Flyers.