It’s fun each year when the World Championships are going on or even the Olympics and we get to see old faces like Jaromir Jagr all over again and start thinking back to the good old days. You know, back when Jagr was on a line with Mario Lemieux and winning Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh or when he dominated while Mario battled injuries.
Seeing Jagr again light things up at the 2011 World Championships at age 39, this time while teamed up with Montreal Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec, it got us all wistful once again hoping for a Teemu Selanne-like rally from Jagr back in North America in the NHL. After all, he’s spent the last three years in the KHL with Avangard Omsk and seeing once great NHL players not play on the biggest stage in the world here pains us.
While there were rumors floating around that Jagr might indeed come back to the NHL and even do so with his first team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pens general manager Ray Shero would like to know where all this chatter from came in the first place.
Rob Rossi of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review gets the word from Shero that if Jagr is going to come back to play in the NHL, it’s probably not happening in the Steel City.
On Jagr, who has talked over the past several days of resuming his NHL career, possibly with his original team: “I don’t understand where all this came from,” Shero said. “Jagr is not a guy we’ve spoken about in a couple of years. We talked about him for a little bit after his time with the Rangers (July 2008), but that’s about it.”
All right, so what about the talk that the Penguins were reaching out to Jagr in the first place? Shero clears that up too with Rossi saying that he wanted current Penguins defenseman and Czech teammate Zbynek Michalek to present Jagr with an invitation for a Penguins alumni golf tournament this summer to celebrate the 20 years anniversary of the Penguins’ first Stanley Cup winning team.
“We were able to get that invitation to him, and we’d like to acknowledge his involvement with the organization,” Shero said, adding that he has not spoken with Jagr’s agents. “That’s really all there was to it.”
That’s a bit of a bummer no doubt as seeing Jagr give it one more turn on NHL ice in Pittsburgh would’ve made for both quite the story and the sight to see. While Jagr could conceivably come back with another team in the NHL that’s interested (Rangers and Canadiens have been rumored) it’s believed that Jagr will stay in Russia again next year and has been in talks with SKA St. Petersburg to join them.
At the very least we’ll have our memories of Jagr’s dominating days in the NHL and look forward to next year’s World Championships in Finland and Sweden to get a look at him once again.