Will Jagr Return to NHL This Season?

Jaromir Jagr is eyeing an NHL comeback and there are at least two teams who are interested.

Ed Millerby Ed Miller

Jagr

For years Jaromir Jagr dominated the NHL and struck fear in many of the league’s goaltenders and it appears as though goaltenders will no longer be able to sleep soundly as the former MVP is working on a comeback.  Jagr hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2007-08 season as a member of the New York Rangers, but the 39-year-old and his agent have made it apparent that they are working on getting a deal done to bring the 6-foot-3, 245 pound forward back to North America.

Jagr spent 18 seasons in the NHL, as a part of three different franchises.  He was a five-time scoring champion, two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins and even won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1999 with the Washington Capitals.  After the 2007-08 season, Jagr packed up his bags and headed east, far east.  He left the NHL to play for Avangard Omsk of Russia’s KHL and finished last season with 50 points in 49 games.

''Quite a few teams are in the picture, but I've been talking to Detroit and Pittsburgh the last couple of days,'' Petr Svoboda, Jagr's agent, told The Associated Press. ''He is looking for a one-year deal and I think he will have one in the next week or so.''

The Penguins drafted Jagr and certainly could use his productivity due to the health concerns of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.  Not to mention he is loved by the city’s fans.  The Red Wings, on the other hand, might be fueled to sign Jagr after resigning defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom earlier this week.

Just last month, Jagr had a hat trick to lead the Czech Republic to a 4-0 win over the United States in the quarterfinals of the ice hockey world championships.  International play has a larger ice surface and helped prove Jagr has not lost a step and can still compete at a high level.  Jagr has 646 goals and 1,599 points in his NHL career, which is ninth all-time.

No team will be able to sign the Czech native until free agency begins July 1.

 

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS