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Could Jaromir Jagr be on his way to…Calgary?

Jun 20, 2012, 12:31 PM EDT

Jaromir Jagr AP

There’s an intriguing rumor making the rounds regarding Jaromir Jagr.

After Jagr reportedly passed on a contract extension with Philly to test free agency — he becomes a UFA in 10 days — there are now rumblings that Calgary could be in the mix for his services.

One rumbling from The Globe and Mail, another from Czech news outlet Idnes.cz.

Here are the key points:

– On May 2, the Flames announced they’d signed Roman Cervenka from Avangard Omsk, the same KHL club Cervenka and Jagr played on during the 2010-11 season (on the same line, no less.)

– The pair have also played together internationally for the Czech Republic on a number of occasions and are pretty close friends (read this.)

– From Eric Duhatschek of The Globe:

Funny how a Jagr-Cervenka pairing in Calgary would close the circle. When Jagr first arrived in North America in 1990-91, he was floundering and had a hard time adjusting as a teenager to life outside his Czech hometown of Kladno. The Penguins saw that and made a strategic deal with Calgary to acquire Jiri Hrdina, a thirty-something Czech and one of the first to break down the Iron Curtain. Hrdina had made the transition in Calgary and helped Jagr as a mentor and friend.

– Jagr has expressed an interest playing in Canada before, citing the passion fans have for hockey.

– Unlike other NHLers that recoil in horror at the prospect of moving to Alberta (sorry Alberta, but it’s true), Jagr was seriously contemplating signing with Edmonton in 2008.

– New Flames head coach Bob Hartley said he doesn’t plan to be part of a rebuild in Calgary, so the idea of signing a 40-year-old free agent isn’t far-fetched. He’d fit in nicely alongside 35-year-old Miikka Kiprusoff, 34-year-old Jarome Iginla (who turns 35 on July 1) and 32-year-old Alex Tanguay.

Of note, the Flames have a projected $20 million in available cap space.

  1. govtminion - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I’m having trouble with this. His thing coming back was that he wanted the best chance to win a Cup. Let’s be honest- Calgary isn’t close to being a Cup team right now, even with him added. So why go there?

    • jpelle82 - Jun 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      he is all about the $$$. he talks out of his ass most of the time, he has two cups, he doesnt care about that or he wouldve just went to Pitt

      • rhornsburg - Jun 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        He gave his reason for not signing in Pittsburgh, and it was that there would be no room for him on the PP with Crosby and Malkin already fighting to play the halfboards on the right side. In Philly, the PP went through Briere and Giroux on the left side, which means Jagr would get ample PP time. He just wants to play. He’ll sign with a contender that suits him best, not just the best contender. Which, by the way, still isn’t Pittsburgh.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Why does Calgary refuse to embark on a total teardown and rebuild? Sure they just barely missed the playoffs, but surely nobody believes this team is built to go the distance.

    At this point Iginla and Kipper still have some good value as trade bait. The longer the Flames wait, the less true that will be.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Ticket sales
      Right or Wrong, that is the reason

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        I just assume that like the other Canadian teams, they’ll sell out no matter who is playing.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:17 PM

        The Flames nearly suffered the same fate as the Nords way back when. They have owners who need profits 1st.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        @theawesomersfranchise: you’re probably right, but as hockeyflow said, this is a Canadian team we’re talking about. Check that, it’s a Western Canadian team. As long as they don’t go 0-82 people will show up.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        The Flames payed out 1.1M to operate, another 68M to players, and takes in 56M at the gate. They are down nearly 14M off the bat in 2011. Factor in concessions and TV and the Flames profit margin is wafer thin. And this is them coming back from losing money hand over fist in the 90’s.

        It’s a driving force why they haven’t done the right hockey move and trade Iggy and Mika.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        True, but they would be just fine in terms of attendance if they swapped their two most valuable vets for some young talent. Look at Edmonton. They don’t win much but people come out in droves to see Eberle, Hall, and Nug.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        Someone there has believed that removing those 2 players would drop attendance and effect profits. I agree with you, they should sit have tried to sell the rebuild in Calgary, at most they might have lost 5% in attendance for a few seasons, but paid out less in player salaries.
        But someone in Calgary wasn’t buying that scenario, because really….why hasn’t the Flames traded the two of them?

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        Theawesomefranchise: I worked at the Saddledome as an usher during the “Young Guns” era, the weren’t getting more than 12-13,000 in the building most nights and there season ticket base wasn’t very good. One night in particular I remember was a weeknight game against Chicago (both teams were dreadful that year) there was no more than 9000 in the building that night.

        Currently the Flames have a wait list for season tickets, I can see why the owners don’t want a rebuild.

        Btw your math is off, the Flames make more in gate then you’re giving them credit for, they sellout every game (19,200 and change, we’ll call it 18,200 in paid) and tickets would average about $90, that’s about $1.6 per game or $67 million for the season, that pays the wages, then add in tv etc, the Flames make money.

        However if you’re numbers were right it would spell doom for the NHL since the Flames are around 6th in the league in revenue.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      All my #’s are from Forbes 2011, and they posted and avg of $85 not $90 and reported the Flames made 56m from gate.

  3. sknut - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Yeah Calagry is in that unenviable spot of not being super terrible yet not really being close to a cup contender. They would be smart to tear down now and acquire assets.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      I’m a Flames fan, and I’m fully in support of rebuilding, but one of the things that I admit last season provided (due to injuries) was the chance for several young players to come up and show they can play at the NHL level. Lance Bouma, TJ Brodie, Roman Horak, Chris Butler, Leland Irving and of course Sven Baertschi all played and looked okay doing so, with those players I’m guessing the Flames are aiming for a Philly rebuild (working younger players in with vets) rather than the Edmonton model of being the worst team in the league over and over.

      Now with all that being said the Flames better be right because outside of the players I mentioned (all of whom are under 25) they don’t have a lot in terms of prospects.

      • obamablowz - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        You’ve been rebuilding since 1989 dude!

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 20, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        I can’t completely disagree with you, they’ve only been past the first round once since 1989, however I would argue the teams in the early 90’s and mid 2000’s should have cashed in way more than they did, they underachieved big time.

  4. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    And Jagr is going to whoever pays the most

  5. lonespeed - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Jagr is fool’s gold for some teams and the missing piece for others. On the wrong team (even if some of them are good) he’ll just disappear and cause more harm than good. On the right team, he can be the contributing piece to help compete for a championship. I don’t really see any in-between. To insure the latter, he should just stay in Philly. I’m pretty sure he will disappear if he goes to Calgary.

  6. dannythebisforbeast - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Iginla is 35, wow I’m getting old. Seems he was a young up and comer for so long. Now he’s on the downside

  7. lsxphotog - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I find everything about this hard to believe. I don’t see Jagr going to a place that isn’t in an obvious position to contend for the cup. But, he’s proven money talks in the past. I know he’s looking for more ice time, and most certainly more money. The Flyers probably still think they can snag Nash and replace Jags.

  8. mclovinhockey - Jun 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Jagr wants another cup, why would he play for the flames. I see wings or Philly

  9. mmmpierogi - Jun 21, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Cup contention, money and whatever else is discussed in the article aside, I always thought of Jags as a guy who bounces around the northeast (Pittsburgh, Washington, NYC, Philly). Calgary seems kind of an odd landing spot, although stranger things have happened.

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