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Insider Only NHL: Jagr Interview: “I want to pay Mario back because he has made me what I am”

Here’s an interest interview from the Hockey News that will catch the attention of Penguins fans. Former Pittsburgh Penguins super star Jaromir Jagr said he has no designs on returning to the NHL in the short term, but if he ever did return he would be happy to go back to the Pittsburgh Penguins to play for his former idol, Mario Lemieux.
“I was thinking about it and if Mario would call me and say, ‘I’d like you to play for our team,’ I would think about it a lot,” Jagr said in a telephone interview from Moscow where the Kontinental League will hold its inaugural All-Star Game outdoors at Red Square Saturday. “I would play for the minimum salary. I would play for $350,000 just for him because I owe him my hockey life. I want to pay him back because he has made me what I am…besides my parents.”
DePaoli’s Take: I’m calling Jagr’s bluff on this one about playing for the league minimum. While Jagr is intrigued about returning to Pittsburgh because he was this summer, the thing is Mario already called him. Lemieux talked to Jagr prior to Game 5

of the Rangers – Penguins series about a potential return and Lemieux had Shero approach Jagr’s agent on July 1, 2008
When Marian Hossa signed with the Red Wings on Wednesday July 2nd,Lemieux and Co went to Jagr and were prepared to offer a 2yr deal worth $5.5 million per season. Jagr was uncertain about coming back to Pittsburgh which led to the Penguins to explore other options. From what I’ve been told Jagr wanted begged back to sign with Pittsburgh and was seeking a three year deal according to sources in Edmonton who also inquired about Jagr.
If Jagr were to contact the Penguins this summer that he’s leaving the KHL, Pittsburgh would be in on him and it has been speculated around the league that Jagr does have an out clause
To me this is Jagr just trying to get back into the news. I wouldn’t look too much into it right now. He had his chance to return this summer although the front office wasn’t sold on the idea.

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