Jul 1, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT
The Penguins hunt to bring back Jaromir Jagr is all over. Penguins GM Ray Shero announced that the Penguins were pulling their offer for the future Hall of Fame forward who was looking to return to the NHL next season.
The 39 year-old Jagr spent the last three seasons in the KHL in Russia and he and his agent Petr Svoboda came back to North America in the last couple weeks looking to find a team for Jagr to land with to play once again in the NHL for the 2011-2012 season. As it turns out, Penguins GM Ray Shero was getting a bit tired of the rat race that picked up steam over the last couple days to try and land Jagr.
Shero released a statement today making it clear how he and the Penguins stand on things.
“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.
“Jaromir is one of the greatest players in Penguins history, and we wish him all the best.”
It’s a bit sad to see the Penguins bow out as we all remember the great success Jagr had in the 1990s with Pittsburgh and the nostalgia factor for Jagr’s return was sky high. Seeing him out on the ice with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would’ve been more than special to see.
One other team that’s jumping out of the Jagr sweepstakes is Detroit as The Sporting News’ Craig Custance reports that Ken Holland and the Red Wings are out of the negotiations as well. Detroit and Pittsburgh were the two leading teams looking to land Jagr and now they’re both out of the mix. Is it a negotiation ploy or have other teams like Montreal or other teams that have supposedly entered the picture changed things up? We’ll find out soon enough.
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