The Pittsburgh Penguins have emerged as Jaromir Jagr’s preferred team to return to the NHL, sources close to the situation indicated late Wednesday night.
The Penguins who have been in pursuit of Jagr in the past 48 hours, are also said to be onboard as an organization with the possible signing, despite what the organization might be saying publicly.
A stumbling block though remains the money factor.
Everything coming out of the organization for a few days now is that the Penguins will not tie up their cap space for the 39 year old winger or at the expense of losing others they want to keep.
I’ve been trying to hammer that for days in the updates.
As the team is expected to make their first offer in the next day or two, don’t look that mindset to change from the Penguins.
Jagr is not chasing the money on what likely would be his last NHL contract but his camp is still looking for a fair market deal and a deal Jagr is comfortable with.
Jagr’s camp is said to be looking for at least $3 million per season, sources say.
$3 million is not a number the Penguins are going to come close to and a more reasonable number from the Penguins is said to be $2 million per season and that might be stretching it.
There are also doubts the Red Wings will go above $3 million as talk around the league is that the parameters already in place had Svoboda and Wings GM Ken Holland discussing a one year deal worth somewhere in the $2 million range with possible incentivies.
If the two teams are close in money, the sense from those close to the situation is that Pittsburgh is going to win the Jagr sweepstakes.
The big mystery though is whether the Penguins are going to come close to what Detroit’s offering and if Jagr’s going to be comfortable with a $2 million salary or an even lower salary.
Unless the Pens pull out of the sweepstakes, this is going to play out into Friday, was the word late Wednesday night as Jagr’s camp waits for Pittsburgh to make an offer.