KHL remains likely but Habs top wishlist of NHL teams for Jagr
A report on Tuesday by the Trib’s Rob Rossi has been interpreted the wrong way by some and has fueled speculation among fans that the Penguins are interested in an on-ice reunion with former star player Jaromir Jagr.
However, the only interest from the Penguins right now is extending Jagr an invitation to a summer golf tournament in celebration of the 1991 Stanley Cup win. Pens GM Ray Shero is hopeful to meet with Jagr today and extend the invitation.
“When you think of the Penguins, you think of Lemieux, Crosby and Jagr,” Shero said to reporters on Tuesday at the World Championships. “Three dynamic players, franchise-type players.”
The Penguins to this point have had no discussions internally about pursuing Jagr this off-season. That right now is no where in their plans.
However, there’s a very slight chance that could change following the World Championships.
Pens GM Ray Shero is attending the World Championships working for Team USA and this event has been the first time he has seen Jagr live since the 2010 Olympics.
Jagr who intends to at least “explore” an NHL return, is showing GM’s and scouts that he can still help a team in the NHL.
He netted a hat trick in Czech Republic’s 4-0 victory over Team USA today in the Quarterfinals.
Scouts say the hands and playmaking ability are still there.
“He’s still got it, ” U.S. Captain Mark Stuart said following today’s game, via Canadian Press.
“Jagr certainly looks like he could help an NHL team next season, ” USA Today’s Kevin Allen said on twitter. “The give and go play with Plekanic shows he still has the instincts/hands”.
Word around the league is that Jagr has his eye on joining the Montreal Canadiens to play with close friend Tomas Plekanec. Expectations are Jagr will explore every avenue to join the Habs but those who had close ties to Jagr in the past, believe he is still a guy driven by money and a lead role, and will in the end return to the KHL.
Jagr’s prime opportunity to rejoin the Penguins was following the 2007-2008 season when owner Mario Lemieux pushed management to explore the possibility. Lemieux even reached out to Jagr but the 36 year old Jagr at the time showed no interest in coming back.
For what it’s worth, Jagr’s two reps at the NHL level are also the agents for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.