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Penguins Withdraw Offer For Jagr, City In State Of Shock

Just over a week ago, I wrote an article on why I didn’t think the Penguins should have gone after Jaromir Jagr.  While the rest of Pittsburgh was clamoring over a possible return and the hashtag #jagrwatch was the number one trending topic on Twitter for Pittsburgh, I stayed with my argument.

“The mullet has to come back to the ‘Burgh” or “He can still score,” people would say to me.

While I agree it would have been a nice flash from the past to add Jagr to the lineup for sentimental reasons, I just didn’t think he was worth the money.  Pens general manager Ray Shero announced Tuesday that the Penguins put out a formal offer for $2 million for 1 year.  Needless to say, after the most hectic three days in recent Penguins offseason memory, the Penguins have officially withdrawn their offer for Jagr.

My reasoning for not wanting Jagr was that I felt they could have spent the money more wisely, not that I felt he was still the immature player he was towards the end of his stint here in Pittsburgh.  After the past three days, it has become clear to me and the rest of Penguins nation that Jagr hasn’t grown up one bit.

Two years ago, Jagr told Lemieux that he wants to come back to Pittsburgh and he would even play for the league minimum.  After the Penguins officially put their offer on the table, Jagr was supposed to make his appearance in the United States on Wednesday and confirm he was playing for the Penguins.  It was as good as done.  Even ESPN reported on SportsCenter Wednesday that the Penguins and Jagr have agreed on a 1-year deal worth $2 million.

The problem is that Jagr officially took over the identity of Carmen San Diego, because no one knew where in the world he was.  He missed his flight from the Czech Republic on Wednesday night, was reported to be at Wimbledon, there were turtles on the runway that didn’t let his plane land and even his agent, former player Petr Svoboda, said he was clueless as to where he was.

As Wednesday passed into Thursday, there was more pessimism amongst Pittsburgh, but everyone tried to stay optimistic that Jagr was coming back.  Until his agent announced that it wasn’t just Pittsburgh and Detroit in the running anymore, but Montreal and Philadelphia of all teams were in the Jagr running.  The excitement of a Jagr return and the forgiveness the fans were showing him, slowly dwindled away.

At 11:40 a.m. Friday, general manager Ray Shero officially withdrew his offer for Jagr.

“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 Shero. “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.”

Could anyone have expected less from Shero?  This isn’t Craig Patrick we are talking about that would suck up to Jagr.  Pittsburgh hockey fans are in a state of shock and disappointment.  This shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to people though, as they were too quick to forgive Jagr.  This is the same Jagr that wanted to be traded and sulked around the clubhouse asking why he is even getting paid.  Yes, the same Jagr that said he was “dying alive” in Pittsburgh before enough was enough and he was traded in July of 2001 to the Washington Capitals.

What Jagr did in Pittsburgh shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked.  He is the second greatest player (sorry Crosby) in Penguins history as of now, but he will be looked at as an enemy and booed for the rest of his days in Pittsburgh.  He may have cost the Penguins a chance to re-sign Mike Rupp or Max Talbot.  The Penguins did pull off a last second deal with Tyler Kennedy worth $2 million over 2 years before free agency started, someone who actually WANTS to be in Pittsburgh.

Wherever you end up Jagr, best wishes to you.  Just know that the “city your heart was in” forgave you once, but not again.  You said “you owed it to Mario”, but really you owed it to yourself to retire where you started.  I hope the extra money is worth it Jagr.

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I'm currently pursuing my Master's degree in Communication and Journalism from Clarion University. I currently work for Ohio Valley Athletics where I serve as the West Virginia Football Beat Writer and cover West Virginia Men's Basketball as well. I'm a big Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers and Oregon Ducks fan. Follow me on Twitter at @MichaelWaterloo or visit www.ovathletics.com

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In response to “Penguins Withdraw Offer For Jagr, City In State Of Shock”

  1. chuck Jul 2 201112:03 pm


    The $1.3MM and playing for a Stanley Cup will make it worth it.

    Dont be bitter that grass is greener in Philly, and that everyne knows it.

    We are one of only a couple franchises that could kick their two or three young cornerstones to the curb, get young players who specialize more as opposed to being jacks of all trades (the extra minutes kill Richey, he’s not up to it physically; and Carter is Carter, he who blasts unnecessary shots like Ovechkin that lack the accuracy of Ovechkin, and can just ice a line for several games at a time), high draft picks ….and address their needs financially by using cash and acquiring a franchise goalie.

    Jagr and Giroux will be unstoppable on the PP, and JVR will be there on the doorstep to clean things up….finally we’ll see what a top draft choice for finishing last feels like, since your Cup was centered around Crosby, Fleury, et al….

    This is what Pittsburgh fans fail to recognize is that it wasn’t just the money that drove him to us, but the chances for winning a cup were better…a better back 6, young players on the rise that we home grew…a top 5 goalie.

    I mean we got Jagr for 1 year (hardly a cap wrecker or commitment) and only $3.3MM….guys like Leino, Upshall, Kopecky all got upwards of $4MM – $4.5MM….that’s a f-ing steal…your talking guys who get 40 pts and throw a party, this guy had 71 in his worst injury plagued year.

    If he comes in and gives us just 60-70 pts, but helps our PP unit of G, JVR, Prongs, and Mezaros (absolute Howitzer from the point) achieve another 20 goals on the PP as a unit, then it’ll have been a steal, compared to those guys i mentioned aspiring to crack 50 and being easily handled on their own PPs.

    Our team may lack luster at this point, but when Gagne comes back, it looks considerably more accomplished thru the front 9. And he’ll come back cheap too…guys want to play in Philly. They want OUT of Sh–sburgh.

    So please quit posturing like you didn’t want him back for the paltry sum of $2MM….you lowballed your guy, and never, ever, let anyone try to tell you it isn’t about the money. He meant that relatively, son…as in, he’d accept a reasonable offer to come back, doesn’t have to be the highest, just reasonable…

    We underpaid for him at $3.3MM….so you guys were trying to enter him into indentured servitude. So let’s flip the script, shame on YOU Pens fans, for trying to sell your #2 all-time player (sorrry Crosby) into white poodle slavery.

    I win.

    1. Michael Waterloo Jul 2 201112:57 pm


      Hi Chuck,

      While I respect your opinion, I must disagree.

      First, the Flyers signed him for $3.3 million, not $1.3 as you stated. And you must not have done some homework on Jagr and the Penguins. And I must state that I have never been for signing Jagr as most the city has been. I don’t think he was worth more than $1.5 and don’t think he can contribute like people (yourself) feel he can and he has proved he is still the immature player he was before.

      In case you don’t remember, he said he was dying alive in Pittsburgh and was in a state of depression wondering why he was even getting paid and wanted to be the star of his own team. The fans booed him and it was an ugly divorce.

      2 years ago, he said he wanted to come back to the NHL and most importantly, Pittsburgh. He said he would play for Pittsburgh for the league minimum and it’s where he belonged. Not more than 3 weeks ago, he said his heart is in Pittsburgh and he owes it to Lemieux to to come here. While I don’t believe that, it’s still what he said. Also, Detroit and Montreal’s offers were the same as Pittsburgh’s and Philly is the only team to offer that much money. And you can’t tell me (or maybe you can since you are a Philly fan) that if a team offered him $4 million for one year, he wouldn’t take it.

      You fail to realize this is the kind of player Jagr is. He was offered the most money to play in the KHL in Siberia that’s why he went there. And honestly, I have quite a few friends that are Flyers fans (I am an Eagles fan so I know quite a few) and you are the FIRST who is happy about the trade.

      He average around 1 point per game in KHL, which only has 50 games, a bigger rink, less hitting and competition is far inferior. So if you think Jagr will put up 60-70 points and will be able to keep up with the speed and not get injured, then I’ll let you live in your fairytale world. Don’t forget he had 24 goals in his last season in the NHL.

      Jagr still has some left in the tank, but like I told Pens fans, just temper your expectations that’s all. Expecting 60-70 points will just leave you flipping out at the end of the year. That’s why I was fine with $1.5 for him because 15-20 goals is an actual expectation.

      And as I continue to read your post “son”, I realized the lack of knowledge you actually do have. Bryzgalov is a very good goalie, tied for most wins in past 2 seasons, but the contract is feeling a bit like Dipietro’s from years past.

      Richards and Carter will hurt this year, but the move is a good long term move for the Cryers, I mean Flyers. But I don’t see more than a number 6 finish for the Flyers this year and don’t forget who the favorites in the east were last season before Sid and Geno got hurt, and the Pens STILL almost took the division from the Flyers.

      The repeat in 1973-1974 -1974-1975 was a long time ago and sorry to tell yeah, it doesn’t look like the Flyers are going to win a cup yet again this year, though I will look forward to the typical, excuses that the Flyers fans serve up.

      So Charles, enjoy Jagr and realize what you overpaid for. I guess it’s payback to the Pens fans cause they now know how Flyers fans felt when Tocchet came to Pittsburgh from Filthadelphia. Sad thing is, the most people that wanted him back here, wanted him back for his mullet :-/. O, and Max was a huge hero for us when we won the Stanley Cup (yes, something Flyers fans aren’t used to – WINNING) but hasn’t done much since. And I can’t blame him for cashing in on a team willing to give him $9 million. Sense of desperation in Philly?

      We’ll see you December 9th in your place then the 29th in Pittsburgh.

      Yes Chuck, I win

    2. Michael Waterloo Jul 2 201112:58 pm


      O, and retract my $1.3 million statement, I see where you mean the difference now, but you did contradict yourself when you said it wasn’t about the money

  2. Christopher Rowe Jul 2 20112:23 pm


    Leino, Giroux, Richards and Carter are all on other teams so perhaps Flyers fans (myself included) need to check the program before we spout off on how our players are better than yours. It also might be wise to note history… when was Pittsburgh’s last Stanley Cup Trophy? When was Philadelphia’s? I’m guessing of the three commenters, only one of us had been born at that time (Flyers in 1974-1975)

    That being said, we are not expecting Jagr to come to town and be a savior. Briere and Pronger will likely be wearing the “C” and the “A” while Jagr will provide some veteran leadership. Bryzgaloff and several new players will bring a new spirit to this Flyers team – but the Penguins will be a force to be reckoned with (as always).

    If Jagr starts his crazy talk again saying he is miserable and wants his own team agin we can trade him back to the NY Rangers or he is welcome to return to the Sibera Polar Bears in the WUHL (Washed Up Hockey League). If he does his job, we will embrace him.

    1. Michael Waterloo Jul 2 20112:41 pm


      Hey Chris,

      I think you put it best. And that’s the way I think it should be. Don’t have expectations too high for him and just hope he contributes. I’m glad he didn’t sign in Pittsburgh, but just showed he is the immature player he’s always been.

      And the Pens last one was 2008 and before that, they went back to back in 1990-1991 and 91-92

  3. Adrian Fedkiw Jul 2 20117:47 pm


    Good stuff Michael!

    I hear the Flyers are also making a run at Mario Lemieux

    1. Michael Waterloo Jul 2 20118:02 pm


      Thanks Adrian. That’s Ironic, I heard the Pens were making a run at Rocky. I guess we’ll see which happens first.

      1. Adrian Fedkiw Jul 2 20118:10 pm


        I’ve heard those rumors as well, as for the Flyers I’ve also heard Lemieux, Ray Borque, Al Iafrate, and Eric Lindros so we’ll see. I’m so excited!

        They do have money to spend!

        1. Michael Waterloo Jul 3 20118:38 pm



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