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Jaromir Jagr knows he’s not going to be well liked in Pittsburgh

Apr 11, 2012, 12:13 PM EDT

Jaromir Jagr Getty Images

Jaromir Jagr knows all too well that Pittsburgh will be a hostile atmosphere for him and his Flyers teammates but he wouldn’t expect things to be any different as he tells Sarah Baicker of In fact, Jagr thinks someone else with the team might be more disliked than he is.

“I don’t think I’m Public Enemy No. 1,” Jagr said with a grin. “I think Lavy [coach Peter Laviolette] is right now. At least that’s what I saw last game.”

Very funny, Jags. But seriously, tell us what you think about this series and how the fans will treat you in Pittsburgh.

“It’s not anything new to me,” Jagr said after Tuesday’s practice in New Jersey. “It happened right away after 2000 when I got traded to Washington. It’s already 12 years. That’s exactly what I expected.”

Jagr’s first return to Pittsburgh in December this season saw him score a goal and lead the Flyers to victory. Teammate and fellow ex-Penguin Maxime Talbot scored the empty-net goal to ice the game. This time around, it could wind up being a seven-game brawl for it all with four games set in Pittsburgh. With how temperamental Jagr has been with any games concerning Pittsburgh, how he plays will be under the microscope.

The Flyers are hoping he can turn back the clock and show some of those old skills he used to show off only to beat Pittsburgh, not win it for them.

  1. rabidbillsfan - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Haha, thats funny. Pens fans with long memories. They think they own the NHL, and have forever, but the problem with that is, the Pens were the worst of the worst not to long ago, which set the stage for where they are now. To some, that would make them humble, but not to Pittsburgh. Worst, most short sighted sports fans reside in Pennsylvania. (I hate the Pittsburgh players more if it is any consolation Philly)

    • tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      Flyers fans still cling to the Broad Street Bullies Days. Rag on Pittsburgh all you want but don’t group Philadelphia in that category too

      • drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        Philly fans (in general) also boo on reflex and throw batteries.

      • rabidbillsfan - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        Eh, beating a Ranger fan half to death and hitting Santa with snowballs tends to have that effect on people though. This season, however, the flyers have grown on me, not as an adoptive team or anything, but I don’t despise them as much as Boston or Pittsburgh, or even Toronto. I also know it’s not all Philly fans that are like that.

      • tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM


        Agreed, (although the batteries were just for JD Drew, that’s not a regular thing) i never said anything on the contrary. We’re just not the same as Penguins fans. We have long memories, and we remember what certain players did for our franchise. (see: Eric Lindros)


        every team has dbags like the guy who beat the Rangers fan, Just ask the Giants fan who was put in a coma after a Dodgers game. Your own Bills also had a game this season where 26 different fans were arrested on different charges. i’m glad they’ve grown on you, but let’s not group all Flyers fans around that drunk ahole.

        Oh and Santa was some 19 year old kid the team pulled from the stands to entertain angry football fans. Oh and he’s still a huge Eagles fan. and it was almost 45 years ago… can we finally get over that?

    • florida76 - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      Actually, it’s the strength of the current ownership which has put the Pens where they are now. The organization has been the driving force all along, plenty of teams have high draft picks which fizzle. Just ask a Red Wings fan about Joe Murphy. Key trades, player development, are among the reasons why the organization is set up for long term success even after the current stars retire.

      Yeah, Pens fans do have long memories, they recall previous bad ownership which mismanaged the franchise. Of course, Pens fans have only seen five losing seasons over the last quarter-century, HOF caliber players, and 3 Cups. What exactly have the vast majority of teams in the NHL done in comparison? One Cup apiece for Chicago, Boston, and New York. Congratulations. How about Buffalo, St.Louis, Washington, LA, San Jose, Philadelphia? Fact is, very few other clubs have surpassed what the Pens have achieved since 1987-88.

      And the reality is, a fourth Cup this year would equal the achievement of New York and Chicago, which would be significant. Each of those franchises had a roughly 40 year head start, in an era when Cups were easier to attain. Fewer playoff rounds, and losing teams won Cups.

      • crashtheboards55 - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        As a Pens fan, I have no ill-will towards Jagr. Without him, he might not have one 1 cup let alone 2. Yeah he said some things that made him unpopular but everyone does. He gave everything he had to the organization and the ownership was horrible at best when he was there. Why not want to go to a winner or get out of town? He played his a$$ off when he was here and I appreicated that. As far as what happened over the summer, hey things happen. In the end, he went to the money and I don’t blame him at all. I’m not one of these Pens fans that started liking hockey when Crosby and Malkin came to town. I was at games and watching them faithfully when ramzi abid, rico fata, ryan malone, dick tarnstrom and josef melichar were our top power play unit. Either way, this is gonna be a hell of a series and i hope that there are no BS plays by either side.

    • chizmo - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Anyone consider that there is some hard feelings still over Jagr’s flirting with the thought of coming back to Pitt this year?

      I’ve never met anyone in Pitt that truly hates Jagr, but he hasn’t exactly been trying to extend an olive branch lately.

      • crashtheboards55 - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

        the above should have said, without him, the Pens might not have won 1 cup…

    • pens5829 - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      @ rabidbillsfan: Sounds like you’re still bitter about those four straight Super Bowl losses.

  2. drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Playoff hockey. Can’t wait. Rooting for these teams to beat the crap out of each other, because I can’t stand either of them!

  3. mclovinhockey - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Is this really a post between better fans… Philly is 5th this year in attendance, Pitt is 16th… Phillys lowest in the past 20 years has been 7th…. Pitts lowest was 30th. There is no contest between who has a better more die hard fan base.
    Also I doubt Philly would ever boo a player who won its team 2 cups. Pitt fans are a joke.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      How do you read this post as one about who has better fans exactly?

      • chizmo - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        Who said Philly fans could read?

        Where are you getting these numbers for attendance anyway? You’re stating a skewed stat because the PHI arena can hold more people than PIT. Flyers will always have higher attendance based on fans, but both fanbases hover around 100.0% attendance almost always.

        No win for you.

    • chizmo - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      You’re right, we never boo Le Magnifique.

      Another thing, you need cups to boo players who win the cups! ZING.

  4. napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I’m a lifelong Penguins fan and hate the Flyers more than any other team.

    But God help me I love Double J. Maybe it was because he was running circles around the league when I was growing up playing hockey, but I have always loved Jagr and still do. He was an extremely dominant part of a great team. I was sad to see him go, elated at the prospect that he might come back, and saddened to see him go to the Flyers.

    Don’t get me wrong – I hope he has 4 shots and is a -5 for this series – but I still have really fond memories of the guy… wish some of my brethren did too.

    • crashtheboards55 - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      Well said. He was so great to watch. Yeah it sucks seeing him in that Philly uniform, Talbot too but no hard feelings about it. I have the upmost respect for the both of them and what they did for the Penguins organization.

  5. lonespeed - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    The best thing about this series is one of these two teams will be out of the playoffs when its over. A first round exit for either is just fine with me.

  6. biasedhomer - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Too bad many Pens fans don’t remember Jagr on their team, if they did, they would not be booing the second best player to ever wear a Pens uniform.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      That’s an interesting question. Who’s been better during their Pens careers, Jagr or Malkin?

      • epictron1 - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Jagr hands down.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        Not even in the same arena – that’s more of a testament to Jagr than an indictment of Malkin though. Malkin puts together a few more seasons and he might be in Jagr’s realm.

      • tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        Jagr. Dumb question

      • drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        I dunno. Jagr’s PIT career shows that he played at a very high level for 11 years. Both Crosby and Malkin have played for about half that time. But Jagr played in a more forgiving offensive environment.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        Also, a center has more responsibilities than a wing.

  7. bobhpine - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Who knows what Philly fans would do to a player who left after winning two cups. I wasn’t born in the 70’s.

  8. lovehockey - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Jagr’s name is on the Stanley Cup twice as a Penguin and both with Mario as a team mate. Jagr is a great player but it remains to be seen if he can command the cup without Mario. Unless the Flyers win Stanley Jagr will always live in Mario’s shadow.

    • tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      I hate comments like these. Mario never won anything without Jagr either. They were teammates. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, not Mario Lemieux, not Jaromir Jagr, not Ron Francis. They can command the cup just as much as Mario and that goes for all of the other stupid arguments out there:

      Jordan vs. Pippen
      Brady vs. Belichek
      Bird vs. McHale
      Phil Jackson vs. Jordan/Kobe
      Sakic vs. Forseberg

      • lovehockey - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        You may hate comments like these but if you read what happened, when it happened it throws an entirely different light on the comment.
        Jagr wanted to be the best in the world. Did I miss that?

      • chizmo - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        but… Mario was better than Jags. Would you rather go into playoffs with Jagr or Lemieux?

      • tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        @ lovehockey

        It really doesn’t put new light on anything. Jagr was a great player and won just as many cups as Mario. Mario played 6 seasons before Jagr was even drafted and 4 injury plagued years after he left. He didn’t win a cup those years because he couldn’t command it like he did the other years, he didn’t win because his teams weren’t as good as they were with Jagr on them. Just like Jagr’s teams weren’t as good without Mario on them. Teams win championships, not players. Jagr being disgruntled and wanting to leave Pittsburgh really has no effect on the type of player he was, nor would winning a cup with the Flyers. If the Flyers win this year, it’s not because Jagr came out from behind Lemieux’s shadow, it’s because a good team won when they were supposed to.

        And Jagr won 4 straight Scoring Titles, he was the best in the world.

        @ Chizmo

        I’d rather have the guy that fit my team the best. They were both amazing players, but Jagr could give me just as good of a chance to win a cup as Lemieux depending on who else is on my team. If I’m really deep down the middle and weak on the wings, I’d take Jagr any day of the week.When picking between 2 of the greatest players of all-time you can’t go wrong. And the notion that Mario was a winner and Jagr was not when they have the same 2 Stanley cups is ridiculous.

  9. rabidbillsfan - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:59 PM


    Does it matter? Mario was great, so is Jagr. I’m sure Jagr is content with #2 behind Mario in Pitt. This isn’t some Andrew Luck steeping in for Peyton Manning type of argument, both players were/are great, and both will go down in history. If anything, it means that the current players have more shadows to break out of. It shouldn’t matter that he won the cup with Mario, and if thats the case, Crosby had Malkin and Vice-Versa, but I don’t see that clouding your man-love of either of them.

  10. myspaceyourface - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Jagr cares about Jagr. He has proved this to Pittsburgh fans twice. The first time he left and the second time when he used us as leverage to negotiate with Philly.

    You are dead to me.

    • tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      Every player cares more about themselves than the team they play for. just like every person cares about themselves more than the people they work for.

      Let’s say you used to be the assistant manager at McDonald’s and when you were there you really hated Burger King. You didn’t really hate the company, you just hated everyone that worked there and you thought your food was better. But now you’re unemployed and its 12 years later and McDonald’s calls you up and offers you your old job back. It’s a nice offer, but nobody you used to work with works there anymore and frankly when you left McDonald’s, people used to tell you how stupid you were for leaving. Then Burger King calls you and offers you the same job, but for almost twice the pay. Now none of the people that used to work at Burger King work their anymore, and frankly they’ve got some new stuff on the menu that you kind of like. And then you look at the managers and realize that you’d probably work better with the manager at Burger King than you would with the one at McDonald’s. Wouldn’t you pick Burger King?

      It’s about being happy with the situation you’re living in. Jagr picked the best opprtunity for him, and frankly there’s nothing wrong with that. You would’ve done the same thing, as would almost anyone else

      • chizmo - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        lol wut? Imagine, instead, that you were not unemployed, but employed at a Russian Borscht Restaurant and making 100x the money you would make at McDonald’s. Before borscht and after McDonald’s you were bouncing around Hardee’s and Arby’s but not making world championship caliber burgers.

        Then, you decide you want to try to once again win the World’s Greatest Burger competition. You go back to McDonald’s one of your former fry cook coworkers is now own’s the restaurant. You tell him you’d like to come back and cook burgers again, and he says he would be proud to have you but you won’t make as much since you are older and only average at cooking burgers. They still offer you a job with great pay, because they have faith that you’ll be a good cook and compliment the young, world class talent they have at the grill. You say you’re going to put in applications elsewhere to test the waters, so you apply at BK.

        BK offers you more money, knowing that McD’s does not want to overpay. You decide that McD’s and all the fans of their food are not as important to you as personal gains and go to BK.

        Months later, you walk into McD’s and everyone gives you the cold shoulder. You proceed to scratch your head and wonder why everyone is a big meanie to you.

        Don’t use a flawed hypothetical situation…

      • tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Yeah but BK’s got some world class talent at the grill too, and their talent seems like a better fit for me. After all, I really don’t know any of the talent at either restaurant and I want to feel comfortable. And if my own friend is barely willing to pay half of what Bk’s paying me, why should I even want to cook for him? Plus he wants me to cook for more years than I wanted too. What if I can’t cook anymore? I don’t want to be forced to do it and give out crappy tasting burgers for 2 years.

        and when did I wonder why everyone was being a big meanie to me? They’d been mean to me ever since i went to work for Hardee’s.

        Put yourself in his shoes and you’d understand. That was the point of the metaphor.

  11. phillyphan83 - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    florida73 are you kidding? 5 top 5 draft picks in 5 years is what did it. No owner could screw that up. The argument that you make is ACTUALLY describing the Flyers. They are CONSTANTLY in the upper eschelon of teams year in and year out, doing so without the luxury of high draft picks. They are tied with Montreal(an original 6 team) with most 100 pt seasons and they’ve only been in the league since ’76. What this means is that the Flyers have been good with having the lowest average draft pick every year in the NHL. THATS the definition of successful team ownership and management. Its almost laughable to put them in the same boat as a franchise that was almost sold 3 times because they were losing money.

    • tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:57 PM


      It was a Dyslexic moment. We all have them

  12. jwaz8 - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Pens fans boo him every time he touches the puck. I love hearing it. It just proves pens fair weather fans either weren’t fans back then or have forgotten all the great things he did for the city.

    On another note, anyone remember when the philly faithful gave Mario a standing-o when he retired the first time? Talk about a classy gesture. The only standing-o a flyers player got in pitt was when lindros got blindsided and concussed which, btw ended his career. Stay classy Pittsburgh

    • crashtheboards55 - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      I do remember both of those situations. I was actually at the game when Lindros got hit by Kasparitis. I wish Lindros would have had the same medical attention that the players have today. And yes, when Mario was given a standing ovation in Philly, that was a great sports moment given the rivalry. Extremely classy gesture. I have been to plenty of Pens games and Steeler games and the fans have been every bit as annoying. Such a sense of self entitlement when they are winning but when they are losing, wow. I have never quit my support of the Pens but these “new fans” are an embarrassment.

  13. guinsrule - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Jagr disliked in Pittsburgh- Is this still news?

    • benzoids - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      My thoughts exactly. Who cares. I’ve taken dumps that have lingered longer than this story.

  14. billobrienschindimple - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    cuz you’re a douchebag jagr, yes a douchebag jagr

  15. lovehockey - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    @tcclark “And Jagr won 4 straight Scoring Titles, he was the best in the world.”

    Gretsky won 8 in a row.

  16. northstars17 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Does anyone know WHY Jags chose to sign with the FLYERS for his return??

    I was SHOCKED to see he was on the Flyers of all teams! That was the big rival for Pittsburgh! Why would he not go back to his original team where he became a LEGEND?

    Honestly, my gut instinct told me it had something to do with Mario Lemiex. Did they not want Jags back because they want Mario as the main focus in the franchise? Or they want new superstars to be made instead of a legend coming back?

    Just doesn’t make sense…

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